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Africa

Women’s Land Rights and Working Conditions in Large-Scale Plantations in Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart. 2016. “Women’s Land Rights and Working Conditions in Large-Scale Plantations in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Africa Development 41 (3): 49–69.

Author: Lotsmart Fonjong

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Women’s land rights are fundamental for women’s economic empowerment. Increasingly, the nationalization of customary land and the current growth in private land ownership and commercial farming are exerting strong pressure on land and are a threat to women’s usufruct land rights. The discourse over land reforms in most poor African countries like Cameroon is embedded in the evolutionary models where customary landholding systems are changing into state land ownership with greater market integration. These changes are taking place within limited state protection of communal and women’s land rights in the process of land registration. This article discusses the evolution, actors and activities involved in large-scale land acquisitions in the sub region within the framework and women’s rights to land and working conditions in the plantations. Through simple mapping from an in-depth desktop review and some level of field observations and conversations with some of the actors involved in affected localities in Cameroon, the article highlights women’s experiences as customary communal land is transferred into private ownership. In fact, wherever land has been taken up for plantation agriculture, women’s access to land has reduced, making them more vulnerable to hunger, poverty and poor working conditions. This is because women’s land rights have not evolved with the customary evolution into private tenures. Current processes of large-scale land acquisitions should therefore create conditions for women’s participation through a fair degree of equal opportunities, transparency, and accountability to communities, and relevant institutions.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT: 
Les droits fonciers des femmes sont fondamentaux pour leur autonomisation économique. De plus en plus, la nationalisation des terres coutumières et la croissance actuelle de la propriété foncière privée et de l’agriculture commerciale exercent une forte pression sur les terres et constituent une menace pour les droits d’usufruit fonciers des femmes. Le discours sur les réformes foncières dans la plupart des pays africains pauvres comme le Cameroun s’inscrit dans les modèles évolutifs où les systèmes fonciers coutumiers se transforment en propriété foncière étatique avec une plus grande intégration du marché. Ces changements se produisent dans le cadre d’une protection limitée de l’État sur les droits communaux et les droits fonciers des femmes dans le processus d’enregistrement foncier. Le présent article traite de l’évolution, des acteurs et des activités en matière d’acquisition de terres à grande échelle dans la sous- région ainsi que des droits fonciers des femmes et leurs conditions de travail dans les plantations. Grâce à une cartographie simple faite à partir d’une revue documentaire approfondie, d’observations sur le terrain et de conversations avec certains des acteurs impliqués dans les localités touchées au Cameroun, cet article souligne les expériences des femmes face à la transformation des terres communales coutumières en propriété privée. En fait, partout où la terre est utilisée pour l’agriculture, l’accès des femmes à celle-ci a diminué, les rendant plus vulnérables à la famine, la pauvreté et aux mauvaises conditions de travail. C’est parce que les droits fonciers des femmes n’ont pas évolué au rythme de la transformation des terres costumières en tenures privées. Les processus actuels d’acquisition de terres à grande échelle devraient donc créer des conditions propices à la participation des femmes, par l’équité des chances, la transparence et la reddition de comptes par les communautés et les institutions concernées.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2016

Joint Ownership of Family Land in Uganda: Examining the Responses, Challenges and Policy Implications

Citation:

Kabumbuli, Robert. 2016. “Joint Ownership of Family Land in Uganda: Examining the Responses, Challenges and Policy Implications.” African Sociological Review 20 (1): 67–86.

Author: Robert Kabumbuli

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Many widows and orphans in get dispossessed of family land after the death of the head of household, but this could be countered by registered joint ownership of the land. Based on a study of two districts in Uganda, this paper examines the local responses, challenges and policy implications of joint ownership. Over 260 households, and a variety of key informants, were interviewed. The majority of respondents, especially women, agreed that joint ownership of family land is useful, arguing that it provides family security and enhances marital stability. Those who opposed joint ownership argued that marriage itself is unstable, and there is no trust between the spouses. In practice however, the family land is mostly male-owned. Most households do not have any ownership documents, and this is a challenge because joint ownership needs to be registered in order to be legally binding. The growing commercialization of land is also a challenge since it makes individual ownership more preferable. Joint ownership lacks strong support among both men and women, it is constrained by cultural beliefs and practices, and the institution of marriage in which it is anchored is getting weaker. Therefore in order to be effective, any policies and strategies for securing the interests of the family members in the family land must take account of these challenges.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Beaucoup de Veuves et d'ont été orphelins dépossédés des terres familiales après la mort du chef de ménage, mais cela pourrait être  contre la propriété par enregistrée conjoint de la terre. Base sur une étude de deux en Ouganda districts, cet article examine les Réponses locales, les Defis et les politiques de la implications Copropriété. Plus de 260 ménages et divers informateurs clés ont été interviewés. La majorité des répondants, en particulier les femmes ont convenu que la Copropriété familiales des terres est utile, arguant qu'elle assure la sécurité de la famille et la renforce Stabiliti conjugal. Ceux qui se sont la propriété à opposés conjoint ont soutenu que le mariage lui-même est instable et qu'il n'y a pas de confiance entre les conjoints. Dans la pratique Cependant, les terres de la famille sont pour la plupart des hommes. La plupart des ménages they disposent pas de documents de propriété, ce qui constitue un défi car la propriété conjoint doit être pour être enregistrée juridiquement contraignante. Croissant la commercialization des terres est également un défi car elle rend la propriété individuelle plus préférable. La Copropriété they bénéficie pas d'un soutien solide tant que chez les hommes chez les femmes, elle est limitée par les croyances et les pratiques culturelles, et l'institution du mariage où elle est ancrée s'affaiblit. Par conséquent, pour être efficaces, toutes les politiques et Stratégies Visant à garantir les intérêts des membres de la famille dans la terre familiale doivent tenir compte de ces Defis.

Keywords: gender, family, inheritance, joint ownership, marriage

Topics: Gender, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2016

Pastoral Women's Land Rights and Village Land Use Planning in Tanzania: Experiences from the Sustainable Rangeland Management Project

Citation:

Kisambu, Naseku, Elizabeth Daley, Fiona Flintan, and Sabins Pallas. 2017. “Pastoral Women’s Land Rights and Village Land Use Planning in Tanzania: Experiences from the Sustainable Rangeland Management Project.” Paper presented at the Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons, Utrecht, The Netherlands, July 10-14.

Authors: Naseku Kisambu, Elizabeth Daley, Fiona Flintan, Sabins Pallas

Abstract:

In pastoral societies women face many challenges. Some describe these as a ‘double burden’ – that is, as pastoralists and as women. However, pastoral women may obtain a significant degree of protection from customary law even if customary institutions are male-dominated. In periods of change (economic, social, political), this protection may be lost, and without protection from statutory laws, women are in danger of “falling between two stools” (Adoko and Levine 2009). A study carried out in four villages in Tanzania, supported by the International Land Coalition, sought to understand the challenges and opportunities facing pastoral women with respect to accessing land and resources, in the context of village land use planning. This research presents empirical data on pastoral women’s land rights, shedding light on some of the details of these and their manifestation considering the differing contexts, land use patterns, and nature of rights to land. There are some common themes – particularly around the challenges facing women in pastoral communities including lack of space to make their views heard, lack of awareness of their rights, coupled with broader governance challenges. New processes underway such as a government-led review of Tanzania’s land policy and the accompanied implementation strategy ,the new land policy provide opportunities to overcome these challenges.

Keywords: land-reform, land-use-planning, pastoralists, women, tanzania

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2017

Environmental and Gender Impacts of Land Tenure Regularization in Africa: Pilot Evidence from Rwanda

Citation:

Ali, Daniel Ayalew, Klaus Deininger, and Markus Goldstein. 2014. “Environmental and Gender Impacts of Land Tenure Regularization in Africa: Pilot Evidence from Rwanda.” Journal of Developmental Economics 110: 262–75.

Authors: Daniel Ayalew Ali, Klaus Deininger, Markus Goldstein

Abstract:

We evaluate the short-term impact of a pilot land regularization program in Rwanda using a geographic discontinuity design with spatial fixed effects. Three key findings emerge from the analysis. First, the program seems to have improved land access for legally married women (about 76% of married couples) and prompted better recording of inheritance rights without gender bias. Second, we find that the program was associated with a very large impact on investment and maintenance of soil conservation measures. This effect was particularly pronounced for female headed households, suggesting that this group had suffered from high levels of tenure insecurity which the program managed to reduce. Third, land market activity declined, allowing us to reject the hypothesis that the program caused a wave of distress sales or widespread landlessness by vulnerable people. Implications for program design and policy are discussed.

Keywords: gender, agricultural investment, land administration, Rwanda, Property Rights

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Rights, Land Rights, Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2014

Women and War in Rwanda: Gender, Media and the Representation of Genocide

Citation:

Holmes, Georgina. 2014. Women and War in Rwanda: Gender, Media and the Representation of Genocide. International Library of African Studies 39. London; New York: IBTauris.

Author: Georgina Holmes

Annotation:

"Georgina Holmes argues that the media represents a site within which political and military actors can influence narratives about war and genocide, and breaks new ground in analyzing the role of gender in the conflict. This book is essential reading on the gendered dynamics of conflict and genocide in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo." (Summary from WorldCat)

Topics: Gender, Women, Genocide Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda

Year: 2014

Women, Gender and Protest: Contesting Oil Palm Plantation Expansion in Indonesia

Citation:

Morgan, Miranda. 2017. “Women, Gender and Protest: Contesting Oil Palm Plantation Expansion in Indonesia.” The Journal of Peasant Studies.

Author: Miranda Morgan

Abstract:

This study explores the conditions that lead to the participation of rural women in protest. Drawing from a case study in Indonesia, it finds that gender relations are integral to shaping the motivations and political opportunities that lead to women’s decisions to participate in protests around land. It also argues that gender relations are not fixed. Individual actors play an influential role in opening up new political opportunities for women, who are discursively cast as apolitical. Despite dominant gender relations that tend to exclude women from politics, the presence of women in protest opens up the possibility that rural struggles around land and dispossession, though ostensibly free of explicit gender concerns, may simultaneously serve as sites of struggle over gender as well. (Abstract from original)

Topics: Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Political Participation Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year:

Interrogating Large Scale Land Acquisition and Its Implication on Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of Ghana

Citation:

Darkwah, Akosua K., Peace A. Medie, and Maame Gyekye-Jandoh. 2017. “Interrogating Large Scale Land Acquisition and Its Implication on Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of Ghana.” Working Paper No. 401/August 2017. The Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, Boston, MA.

Authors: Akosua K. Darkwah, Peace A. Medie, Maame Gyekye-Jandoh

Abstract:

Large scale land acquisitions have become increasingly common across Africa. This paper draws on two case studies of large scale land acquisitions in Ghana to examine how the practice affects communities in general, and women in particular. It explains that while there have been some benefits of these acquisitions, the costs to communities mostly outweigh the benefits. Women are particularly impacted by this practice as their livelihoods are affected and they are excluded from the proceeds of land transactions. The paper concludes with a discussion of the actions that state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and communities have taken to address the negative impact of large scale land acquisition on women and their communities. (Abstract from original source).

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Land grabbing, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2017

Land Registration and Certification as a Key Strategy for Ensuring Gender Equity, Preventing Land Grabbing and Enhancing Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia

Citation:

Gebre-Egziabher, Abraha Kinfe. 2013. “Land Registration and Certification as a Key Strategy for Ensuring Gender Equity, Preventing Land Grabbing and Enhancing Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia.” International Journal of African Renaissance Studies - Multi-, Inter- and Transdisciplinarity 8 (2): 5-22.

Author: Abraham Kinfe Gebre-Egziabher

Abstract:

In Ethiopia the land issue has always occupied a central place in various struggles for survival and development. Tigray, Ethiopia had a complex land tenure system which has a long history, which goes back to the Aksumite period. The land tenure of Tigray was modified after the introduction of Christianity to Tigray, Ethiopia in about 320 AD, and subsequent leaders began founding churches and establishing monasteries. Traditionally, every Tigreayan was entitled to a piece of land by virtue of the fact that he/she belongs by birth to a given community (Rsti). However, “The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Article over the years this seemingly simple system has been complicated by the monarchs of Tigray. Two of the main problems that were associated with the land issues of Tigray during that time mainly during the imperial regime were land grabbing and the gender disparity in land ownership. As a result of the two and other key problems, the Tigreayans grew progressively poorer over the years.
 
40 (The Right to Property) and Article 35 (Rights of Women), respectively, were aimed at addressing the major problems related to land and gender issues. As a way of implementing the articles given in the Constitution and the policies, the regional government of Tigray used Land Registration and Certification as a strategy. The land registration and certification process conducted in Tigray is a process that is local, simple, done in the language of the people (Tigrigna), transparent and participatory, and has prevented land grabbing and ensured gender equity. This article then discusses how land registration and certification not only prevents land grabbing and ensures gender equity, but also enhances agricultural productivity, by using the evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia.

Keywords: Agricultural productivity, financial capital, human capital, natural capital, social capital, gender equity capital, Land Certification, grabbing, registration, sustainable development, Tigray, ethiopia

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Households, Land grabbing, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2013

Transport, (Im)mobility, and Spatial Poverty Traps: Issues for Rural Women and Girl Children in Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation:

Porter, Gina. 2007. "Transport, (Im)mobility, and Spatial Poverty Traps: Issues for Rural Women and Girl Children in Sub-Saharan Africa." Paper presented at Understanding and Addressing Spatial Poverty Traps: An International Workshop, Durham University, UK, March 29.

Author: Gina Porter

Abstract:

This paper reflects on the experiences of women and girl children residents in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa with poor physical accessibility (to services and markets) because of poor roads and inadequate transport (in terms of regularity, reliability and cost). Examples from field research conducted in diverse agro-ecological and cultural contexts in western and southern Africa are used to explore the impacts of relative immobility and poor access to services on women and girls. Three themes are examined in some detail: access to education, access to health services and access to markets. (Abstract from original source)

Topics: Gender, Women, Girls, Infrastructure, Transportation, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa

Year: 2007

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