الشؤون الجنسانية

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El caso Bhe se refiere a tres causas relacionadas (Bhe, SAHRC y Shibi) para las que se dictó una sentencia común. En la primera causa, el padre de los demandantes, Nonkuleleko y Anelisa Bhe (de 9 y 2 años de edad), había fallecido y la madre (la tercera demandante) inició un juicio para asegurar que la propiedad del difunto pasara a sus hijas. Conforme al principio de primogenitura del derecho consuetudinario africano, así como al artículo 23 de la Black Administration Act, la vivienda debía pasar a manos del pariente varón de mayor edad del padre, en este caso, el abuelo.

Regulations entitled those on social security benefits to receipt of a winter fuel payment for.  The payment was available to women aged 60 and over and men aged 65 and over. Mr Taylor was 62 and brought a complaint on the basis that the regulation did not comply with the European Union Council Directive on the progressive implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security. The High Court referred the interpretation of the Directive to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).  

Mrs Zwaan de Wries became unemployed in February 1979 and was granted unemployment benefits until October 1979. But she was denied continued support under the Unemployment Benefits Act (WWV) because she was a married woman and was not the family ‘breadwinner'. Married men could obtain the benefits without the need to prove they were a ‘breadwinner'.

Mrs Airey sought judicial separation from her physically abusive husband. As she was unable to conclude a separation agreement with her husband, she sought a judicially ordered separation. She was unable to obtain such an order since she lacked the financial means, in the absence of legal aid, to retain a solicitor. The European Court of Human Rights held this was a violation of her right to access a court for determination of her civil rights and obligations (Article 6). Citing international law and the Convention's intention they said that remedies must be effective not illusory.

The Bhe judgment concerned three related cases (Bhe, SAHRC and Shibi), which were decided together. In the first action, the father of applicants, Nonkuleleko and Anelisa Bhe (aged 9 and 2), had died, and the mother (the third applicant) brought an action to secure the deceased's property for her daughters. Under the African customary law rule of primogeniture as well as section 23 of the Black Administration Act, the house became the property of the eldest male relative of the father, in this case the grandfather.