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Lesotho Chieftainship Case Goes to the African Commission

Lesotho9 September 2014, Maseru–Today, Senate Masupha, the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Lesotho) and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) submitted a complaint to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) challenging a law providing for male-only succession to chieftainship in Lesotho.

Masupha, the first born child of a chief, is challenging section 10 of the Chieftainship Act, which denies daughters the ability to succeed to the office of chief solely on the basis of their gender. She challenged the law in the Lesotho Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal arguing that denying her the ability to succeed to chieftainship solely because she is a woman violated her constitutional rights.

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Lesotho Constitutional Court hears landmark chieftainship case

Johannesburg, 27 August – The Lesotho Constitutional Court will hear arguments today and tomorrow in a landmark discrimination case challenging legislation that only permits men to become chiefs.

“The time has come to end discrimination against women in Lesotho. A number of courts in the region have struck down laws that explicitly deny women the right to succeed to chieftainship and Lesotho needs to do the same,” stated Priti Patel, Deputy Director of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC).

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