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Legal Discourses Within Contact Zones. A Study of The Struggles for Women Rights and Access to Land in Mozambique and South Africa

Researcher name: Sara Araújo

In the process of reducing the world to a Western understanding of the world, modern law assumed the role of science accomplice. It became a globalized localism based on a universal conception of the individual which, in turn, determined the way Human rights framework was drawn. To recognize the fallacy of the superiority of modern law and human rights against other grammars of human dignity is different from arguing its irrelevance. I try to address the question of how to conciliate the homogenizing discourse of modern law with other legal grammars by rehearsing responses from a ‘Sociology of Absences and Emergences’ perspective. This epistemological approach encourages both the processes of unlearning the law and the science which created the South as “the Other” and the North as “We” and of giving visibility to the struggles and choices of those who suffer this inequality and lack of recognition. This project is based on the language of struggles that occur within contact zones where different normativities and conceptions of human dignity face each other, often in asymmetrical patterns. Specifically, I will focus on the inter-legality of discourses within the struggles for women’s rights and access to land in Mozambique and South Africa.

Keywords: Learning from the South, Contact Zone, Interculturality, Interlegality, Access to Land, Women rights, Modern law
Countries of reference: Mozambique, South Africa