Over the last decade, donor nations have focused considerable proportions of their development funding for Africa on "democratization" projects. As part of this initiative, Tanzania has experienced a remarkable growth of diverse projects on law and gender. Many of these projects endeavor to involve a wide range of Tanzanians—police, gender activists, ordinary citizens, judicial personnel—in such concerns as reforming specific laws, prosecuting sex crimes and domestic violence, and fostering understanding of rights and laws. Donor-sponsored interactive, educational workshops are a popular format for providing information about law and gender to legal personnel and the general population. As demonstrated in this paper, law and gender workshops—characterized by foreign sponsorship, local target constituencies, and participatory ideologies—are a window onto the complex power dynamics of the development process in the democratization era. In addition to highlighting contemporary struggles over power and authority in relation to development, the paper's linguistic analysis of one workshop reveals that attempts to transform gender relations through law reform campaigns face complex challenges, not the least of which is posed by the nature of linguistic interaction itself.


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pp. 51-75
Launched on MUSE
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