April 27, 2015

Customary Versus Modern Laws of Eritrea on Gender Equality

By Muluberhan Berhe Hagos

Customary Versus Modern Laws of Eritrea on Gender Equality

Printed by Atlas Graphic Printers – Asmara, February 2014

This ground-breaking study has deeply examined the customary laws of Eritrea in unprecedented manner. The in-depth comparison made between customary and modern laws of Eritrea refutes the sweeping, subjective and generalized perceptions that customary laws of Eritrea are discriminatory against women.

It suffices to mention the following examples to demonstrate the gender sensibility of a number of provisions contained in customary laws in contrast to modern laws.

A pertinent example that demonstrates sensitivity to gender is the attribution of legal personality to a fetus and compensation to a victim of miscarriage due to physical damage. In contrast, modern laws deny legal personality to a fetus, save retroactive recognition provided the newborn is viable.

Consequently, the heirs lack recourse to seek compensation for material and moral damages. The second example relates to some provisions of the customary laws that view paternity not only from biological standpoint but also from social standpoint disclose that customary possess progressive traits in terms of gender equality.

Finally, I strongly believe this book will be a good resource to the public and law enforcement institutions in Eritrea. I commend the author for his hard work and achievement.

Prof. Asmarom Legess

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