Documentary | 60 min | Col, Xhosa, Bantu, Hindi, English | India, South Africa, USA | 1998
A Woman’s Place tells the intimate stories of women from three countries – India, South Africa and the USA – who are fighting to balance the scales of power so that “a man’s world” is also a woman’s place. Advocates for women’s rights have frequently turned to LAW in their efforts to accord women equality. But are new laws enough to change old ways? A Woman’s Place explores this question through three separate stories that share one common link – patriarchal control and women’s efforts to dislodge it.
In a new, post-apartheid South Africa TandaswaNdita, a judge works with traditional village courts so women can inherit property as per the new Constitution. In Duluth Minnesota, Mary Asmus, a prosecutor works with community groups to prosecute domestic abuse cases, which won’t in a way that won’t render victims more vulnerable. In India two women, Veena who had an arranged marriage and Seema, who married for love both find themselves at the same juncture, divorce, but with many disadvantages. Their lawyer, Flavia Agnes, uses a unique, feminist approach to law to help them have the life they want.
Using this cross-cultural approach the film reveals that patriarchy may cut across cultures and but each society finds unique and particular ways to tackle it.
Maryland Public Television
Maria Nicolo (USA)
Paromita Vohra (India)
Catherine Stewart and Patricia van Heerden (South Africa)
T Jayashree (India Producer)
Dena Mermelstein and Jabeen Merchant