Approaches to Gender Conflicts on Land Ownership in the Courts of Anglophone Cameroon: Human Rights Implications

Citation:

Sone, Patience Munge. 2013. “Approaches to Gender Conflicts on Land Ownership in the Courts of Anglophone Cameroon: Human Rights Implications.” The International Journal of Human Rights 17 (4): 567–83. doi:10.1080/13642987.2013.793084.

Author: Patience Munge Sone

Abstract:

This article examines the Cameroonian legal system on land ownership. It discusses the general underlying principles of the right to land ownership, highlighting land registration as the main determinant. It seeks to find out why there are recurrent gender land-related conflicts and evaluates court approaches in curbing gender conflict over land ownership. The study analyses the existing legislations and case laws relating to land ownership and gender conflict, and a descriptive analysis of findings on the existing registered land is employed to determine whether equal land ownership, which is an inherent right, is respected and protected in the courts of Anglophone Cameroon. Based on the findings, the article argues that the recurrent gender land-related conflicts have their roots in the customary practices influenced by patriarchy. Also, the discriminatory application of the statutory land laws by the common law judges has played a major role in the unequal land ownership in Anglophone Cameroon. The article argues for the institution of comprehensive and harmonized land reform and other machineries that may guide judges in addressing these incessant land-related gender conflicts.

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Justice, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2013

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