"Tradition", Modernity and Family Rights in Mozambique: Negociation and Conflict About the Family Law

"Tradition", Modernity and Family Rights in Mozambique: Negociation and Conflict About the Family Law

The Mozambican parliament approved, in its previous legislative session, a new Family Law, aimed to substitute the one existing since 1966. The new law would equalize men's and women's rights inside the family, would match traditional and civil marriages, would forbid polygamy, and would rise nubile age up to 18 years old. Although the new Law result from a public debate started in 1998, its promulgation was only possible after major and often contradictory changes in the original project. The project will develop a trans-disciplinary approach - anthropology, sociology and political science with extensions to history - in order to analyse: i) the dynamics of negotiation and rejection of this Law; ii) the legitimating principles manipulated by the involved social agents; iii) the expression of those dynamics and principles on the media; iv) the gap between public opinions and those expressed by regular citizens of both genders and different social status; v) the hiatus between polemic subjects and dominant family morphologies; vi) the dynamics of political decision and the probable presence of principles inherited from previous regimes; vii) the continuities and ruptures on political and intellectual elite's positions about the polemic subjects, along the colonial, revolutionary and multipartite regimes. In order to do so, the research team will use as methodological tools the interview, the life stories, the questionnaire, and the documental, statistical and media analyses. In the field, the Archaeology and Anthropology Department of Eduardo Mondlane University will provide logistical support, and the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research Trust will make available their documents, contacts and expertise. Both institutions underline the social importance and relevance of this study. The project will enlarge scientific knowledge, trough the study of a localised case that, still now, only got ideological approaches. But it intends also to provide a base for further comparative analyses of legal regulation of gender relationships, with other African or European countries, including Portugal. The research team also aspires that the results spreading will support informed and adequate decisions, in upcoming set outs of 1966 Family Law.

Estatuto: 
Proponent entity
Financed: 
No
Keywords: 

Family, Gender, Politics, Mozambique

The Mozambican parliament approved, in its previous legislative session, a new Family Law, aimed to substitute the one existing since 1966. The new law would equalize men's and women's rights inside the family, would match traditional and civil marriages, would forbid polygamy, and would rise nubile age up to 18 years old. Although the new Law result from a public debate started in 1998, its promulgation was only possible after major and often contradictory changes in the original project. The project will develop a trans-disciplinary approach - anthropology, sociology and political science with extensions to history - in order to analyse: i) the dynamics of negotiation and rejection of this Law; ii) the legitimating principles manipulated by the involved social agents; iii) the expression of those dynamics and principles on the media; iv) the gap between public opinions and those expressed by regular citizens of both genders and different social status; v) the hiatus between polemic subjects and dominant family morphologies; vi) the dynamics of political decision and the probable presence of principles inherited from previous regimes; vii) the continuities and ruptures on political and intellectual elite's positions about the polemic subjects, along the colonial, revolutionary and multipartite regimes. In order to do so, the research team will use as methodological tools the interview, the life stories, the questionnaire, and the documental, statistical and media analyses. In the field, the Archaeology and Anthropology Department of Eduardo Mondlane University will provide logistical support, and the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research Trust will make available their documents, contacts and expertise. Both institutions underline the social importance and relevance of this study. The project will enlarge scientific knowledge, trough the study of a localised case that, still now, only got ideological approaches. But it intends also to provide a base for further comparative analyses of legal regulation of gender relationships, with other African or European countries, including Portugal. The research team also aspires that the results spreading will support informed and adequate decisions, in upcoming set outs of 1966 Family Law.

Objectivos: 
1. To understand the dynamics of definition, support and opposition to the new Family law and the legitimating principles manipulated by the involved social agents.<br />2. To evaluate the gap between publicly expressed opinions and those shared by regular citizens of both genders and different social status.<br />3. To evaluate the gap between polemic subjects and dominant family morphologies.<br />4. To analyse the expression of those dynamics, principles and gaps on the media.<br />5. To detect and to characterize the continuities and ruptures on political and intellectual elite's positions about the polemic subjects, along the colonial, revolutionary and multipartite regimes.<br />6. To analyse the process of political decision that occurred, and the rapport between its logic, the authoritarian historical experience of the country and the democratic/citizenship principles.<br />7. To achieve a global synthesis of the results arising from the different disciplinary approaches to the object.
State of the art: 
Esta Lei da Fam&iacute;lia, tal como boa parte dos temas-chave a desenvolver, nunca foram objecto de pesquisa em ci&ecirc;ncias sociais. Existem, contudo, v&aacute;rias abordagens e pesquisas anteriores que s&atilde;o pertinentes para os temas em estudo (ver refer&ecirc;ncias bibliogr&aacute;ficas no ponto de &quot;Coment&aacute;rios&quot;). <br />Foram feitos esfor&ccedil;os locais tanto para adaptar teoriza&ccedil;&otilde;es gerais sobre g&eacute;nero &agrave; situa&ccedil;&atilde;o de Mo&ccedil;ambique (Casimiro &amp; Andrade 1992) e da &Aacute;frica Austral (Meena 1992), como para caracterizar a situa&ccedil;&atilde;o das mulheres (Loforte &amp; Casimiro 1988). Tamb&eacute;m os casamentos e rela&ccedil;&otilde;es familiares &quot;tradicionais&quot; foram objecto de pesquisas, nos seus formatos recentes (Bagnol 2002; Silva 2003; Granjo 2005) e em contextos socio-pol&iacute;ticos anteriores (Junod 1996; Kruks &amp; Wisner 1984; Feliciano 1998), incluindo a anterior tentativa para alterar a legisla&ccedil;&atilde;o de fam&iacute;lia (Arnfred 2001). Infelizmente, os dados dos censos &agrave; popula&ccedil;&atilde;o n&atilde;o s&atilde;o directamente operacionaliz&aacute;veis, visto apresentarem s&eacute;rias limita&ccedil;&otilde;es nas categorias adoptadas e na apresenta&ccedil;&atilde;o de dados (vide Granjo 2004). <br />Um levantamento recente (Santos &amp; Trindade, orgs. 2003) fornece informa&ccedil;&atilde;o bastante completa acerca dos quadros legais e das pr&aacute;ticas de justi&ccedil;a, inclusive no que concerne a situa&ccedil;&atilde;o das mulheres (Os&oacute;rio &amp; Temba 2003). Tamb&eacute;m est&atilde;o dispon&iacute;veis dados e refer&ecirc;ncias sobre a posi&ccedil;&atilde;o das elites coloniais acerca da regula&ccedil;&atilde;o &quot;ind&iacute;gena&quot; da justi&ccedil;a (Pereira 2001). <br />No quadro da literatura sobre transi&ccedil;&atilde;o e consolida&ccedil;&atilde;o democr&aacute;ticas, tem sido atribu&iacute;da muita aten&ccedil;&atilde;o ao desenvolvimento da sociedade civil e &agrave; sua interac&ccedil;&atilde;o com o Estado. N&atilde;o obstante, relativamente pouco foi escrito acerca das dimens&otilde;es de g&aacute;nero da consolida&ccedil;&atilde;o democr&aacute;tica, e menos ainda sobre pol&iacute;ticas de g&eacute;nero espec&iacute;ficas aplicadas em novas democracias (Parpart 1988; Phillips 1991; Jaquette 2001). O que &eacute; sabido, em grande medida com base em estudos extensivos de opini&atilde;o p&uacute;blica, &eacute; que algumas vari&aacute;veis t&ecirc;m um impacto significativo sobre outras: 1) a intensidade relativa de certas normas culturais ou religiosas tem impacto na equidade de g&eacute;nero (Norris &amp; Inglehart 2001; Inglehart &amp; Norris 2003); 2) a densidade de mulheres na vida pol&iacute;tica tem impacto sobre a capacidade feminina de influenciar a agenda pol&iacute;tica (Darcy et all 1994); tipos diferentes de sistemas eleitorais t&ecirc;m impacto na densidade de mulheres eleitas, que por sua vez influencia o tipo de pol&iacute;ticas p&uacute;blicas que s&atilde;o aprovadas (Matland 1998; Vengroff et all 2000); 4) a natureza do regime pol&iacute;tico e a forma como as organiza&ccedil;&otilde;es de mulheres se desenvolvem tem impacto na sua capacidade para influenciar as pol&iacute;ticas estatais, que tamb&eacute;m dependem de estruturas casu&iacute;sticas e de redes de mobiliza&ccedil;&atilde;o (Hanagan et all 1998).
Michael Baum
Manuel Correia

TRAD

Coordenador 
Start Date: 
01/01/2005
End Date: 
31/12/2007
Duração: 
35 meses
Closed