Researcher Profiles

Comprehensive Database of all UZ leading Research and Innovation endeavors

Dr. Elizabeth Rutsate


• Doctor of Philosophy- Law, University of Zimbabwe (2016) • Master’s degree in Women’s Law, University of Zimbabwe (2010) • Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree, University of Zimbabwe (1990) • Bachelor of Law (Honors) Degree University of Zimbabwe (1987-1989) • Postgraduate Diploma on the Justiciability of Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, Abo Akademi University Institute for Human Rights, Finland (2013) • Postgraduate Certificate in Human Rights, Global Justice & Sustainable Development, University of Antwerp, (2019) • Postgraduate Executive Certificate in Community Development and Humanitarian Project Management, University of Zimbabwe (2008)

Academic Appointments:

Senior Lecturer

Research Interests:

Women’s human rights, gender, family law and development
Child law and children’s rights
Environmental laws and policies
Climate Change & Sustainable Development
Natural resources governance
Disability rights
Law and development
Legal and social aspects of rural development
Political economy
Law of Succession
Human Rights in general

Faculty: Law
Department: Legal Undergraduate and Postgraduate Degree Programmes
Research Category: Law

Dr Elizabeth Rutsate is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Zimbabwe. She currently teaches in the disciplines of family and succession laws. She has worked as a magistrate and legal counsel in both public and private practice and has successfully done several consultancies on women and the law. Her research and teaching interests revolve around women, the environment, access to resources and the law as well as sustainable development. Between 2010 and 2013 she was part of the Zimbabwean research team on a regional study covering Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe on “Human Rights, Gender and Water Governance” funded by the Norwegian Research Council and coordinated by the Institute of Women’s Law at the University of Oslo and the Southern and Eastern African Regional Centre for Women's Law.

Phone: +263772365805

1. Rutsate, E. (2019). Per Stirpes Principle versus the Per Capita Principle in Intestate Succession: a brief overview. University of Zimbabwe Law Journal, 2(1), 236-253.
2. Madzikatire, B. C. & Rutsate, E. (2019). An interrogation of the law relating to cohabitation in Zimbabwe and the need for law reform. University of Zimbabwe Law Journal, 2(1), 116-148.
3. Lwanda-Rutsate, E. & Munyaradzi, S. (2018). Civil society organisations’ mechanisms for women’s participation in leadership: A Zimbabwe situation analysis. Available:
4. Rutsate , E. L. (2016). Women’s participation in water governance and reform in Zimbabwe: A case study of four A1 resettlement farms in Mazowe catchment post the fast track land reform and resettlement programme (Unpublished Doctoral thesis), University of Zimbabwe, Harare.
5. Hellum, A., Sithole, E., Derman, B., Mangwanya, L., & Rutsate, E. (2015). Zimbabwe’s Urban Water Crisis and its Implications for Different Women: Emerging Norms and Practices in Harare’s High Density Suburbs. In Hellum A., Kameri-Mbote P., & Van Koppen B. (Eds.), Water is Life: Women's human rights in national and local water governance in Southern and Eastern Africa (pp. 347-383). Hong Kong: Weaver Press.
6. Hellum, A., Derman, B., Mangwanya, L., & Rutsate, E. (2015). Securing Rural Women’s Land and Water Rights: Lessons from Domboshawa Communal Land. In Hellum A., Kameri-Mbote P., & Van Koppen B. (Eds.), Water is Life: Women's human rights in national and local water governance in Southern and Eastern Africa (pp. 384-419). Hong Kong: Weaver Press.
7. Rutsate, E., Derman, B., & Hellum, A. (2015). A Hidden Presence: Women Farm Workers Right to Water and Sanitation in the Aftermath of the Fast Track Land Reform. In Hellum A., Kameri-Mbote P., & Van Koppen B. (Eds.), Water is Life: Women's human rights in national and local water governance in Southern and Eastern Africa (pp. 420-456). Hong Kong: Weaver Press.
8. Hellum, A., Derman, B., Sithole, E., & Rutsate, E. (2015). Governance, Gender Equality and the Right to Water and Sanitation in Zimbabwe: Contested Norms and Institutions in an Unstable Economic and Political Terrain. In Hellum A., Kameri-Mbote P., & Van Koppen B. (Eds.), Water is Life: Women's human rights in national and local water governance in Southern and Eastern Africa (pp. 300-346). Hong Kong: Weaver Press.

Patented Work:

Grants & Funding (current and Past projects):

Awards & Achievements:

Consultancy and advisory work (current and past):

1. Study on GBV risks linked to limited access to water. (including the covid-19 aspects) for UNICEF (ending 31/12/2020)
2. Evaluating legal and policy responses to Covid-19 from a human rights perspective in developing countries (including Zimbabwe) – ending 31/12/2020)
3. December 2019: Investigative Research Consultant tasked with conducting internal investigations on SEA within Population Services Zimbabwe (a division of Marie Stopes International)
4. May 2018: Drafted a shadow gender and environmentally responsive Zimbabwe Country Mining Vision for Women Lawyers of Southern Africa

Supervision information (MPhil, DPhil, etc.):

1. Supervision of undergraduate dissertations since 2018.
2. Examiner – examined a University of Cape Town LLM dissertation in the area of mining and energy law in October 2020

Professional membership, Committees, Boards:

1. Faculty Higher Degrees Committee
2. Faculty Rep on UZ Student Affairs Committee
3. Faculty Research and Innovation Committee
4. Faculty Promotions Committee
5. Registered legal practitioner
6. Member of Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association
7. Individual Member of the Law and Development Research Network (LDRN), headquartered at the University of Antwerp, Belgium
8. Member of the Platform on Gender and Extractives, Zimbabwe (PGE) representing Faculty of Law with other members coming from UN Women, UNDP, Oxfam, ZELA & several other CSOs and CBOs
9. Board Secretary for Harare Residents Trust

External Profile Links (Google Scholar, ResearchGate, LinkedIn, other social media links):

1. Researchgate:>21266585-Elizabeth-Rutsate
2. Women Economic Forum:
3. LinkedIn Url:
4. Academiaedu: Elizabeth Lwanda Rutsate | University of Zimbabwe -
5. Law and Development Research Network:
6. Twitter: @Elwanda7Lwanda

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