Women's Rights under Oromo Customary Laws in Lights of International Human Rights Instruments: The Case of Arsi

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Addis Ababa University


The objective of this study is to evaluate whether or not Arsi customary laws have recogni zed women's lights as enshrined under the major intemational human rights instruments such as UDHR, ICCPR, ICESCR and CEDA W. The study is based on data collected during a period of almost six years (2005-2011). Women's right to dignity, equality, economy and women's local institutions for the protection and promotion of their rights constitutes the theme of the study. Women's under Arsi customary laws are entitled to dignified life and they assume central role in the life of their family. They are entitled to basic and fundamental human rights and freedoms in a different way than stipulated under the intemational human lights instruments. The princi ples enslu'ined under intemational human rights are individualistic in approach while those provided under Arsi customary laws are more of group rights while individual women's rights is also recognized. The study demonstrates that Arsi women have rights to property and institutions through whi ch they protect themselves from violence and keep peace within the family and beyond. The study also inquires about the conflict between the two systems and incidentally the Shari 'a laws whi ch are cunently adding a third dimension to justice system in the study area. So the application of intemational human rights norms without having due regards to the local ') customs and values on the one hand and the equally competing customary laws and Shari'a laws in the study area on the other hand is posing a challenge women's rights discourse.



Women's Rights under Oromo Customary Laws