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Land Rights

The Women's Rights in Land Workshop

Citation:

Mogale, Constance, and Sophie Phoshoko. 1997. “The Women’s Rights in Land Workshop.” Agenda:Empowering Women for Gender Equity, no. 32, 66-8.

Authors: Constance Mogale, Sophie Phoshoko

Annotation:

Summary:
“On November 21-22, 1996, the Department of Land Affairs’ (DLA) Women’s Rights in Land Sub-Directorate hosted a consultative workshop, the first of its kind to be organized by Government. 
 
“The workshop aimed to achieve the following: 
  • To determine the factors which inhibit women’s participation in the land reform programmes; 
  • To stimulate national awareness and debate on women’s rights in land and related matters; 
  • To explore women’s relationship to land; 
  • To determine women’s hopes and expectations in relation to land reform; 
  • To facilitate an evaluation of land reform policies and programmes; 
  • To enhance the relationship between all stakeholders with regard to women’s access to land” (Mogale and Phoshoko 1997, 66).

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 1997

Gender Equality and Land Administration: The Case of Zambia

Citation:

Spichiger, Rachel, and Edna Kabala. 2014. “Gender Equality and Land Administration: The Case of Zambia.” DIIS Working Paper 4, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen.

Authors: Rachel Spichiger, Edna Kabala

Abstract:

Land, and in particular agricultural land, is central to livelihoods in rural Zambia. Zambia is characterised by a dual legal system of customary and statutory law and by dual land tenure, with state land and customary land. A first wave of socialist-oriented reforms took place after independence in 1964, which abolished previously existing freehold land in favour of lease-hold. Subsequent changes in government policies under the influence of structural adjustment programmes and a new government in 1991 paved the way for a market-driven land reform. The 1995 Lands Act introduced the privatization of land in Zambia and provided for the conversion of customary into state land, with the hope of attracting investors. However, the Act has been unevenly implemented, at least in rural areas, in part due to problems plaguing the land administration institutions and their work, in part due to opposition to the main tenets of the Act from chiefs, the population and civil society. Civil society, with donor support, calls for more attention towards women’s precarious situations with regard to access to and ownership of land under customary tenure, but it still expresses a desire for customary tenure to remain. However, civil society also recognizes that customary practices are often also discriminatory towards women who depend on male relatives for access to land.
 
A gender policy, passed in 2000, and two subsequent draft land policies tried to address women’s lack of access to land by stipulating that 30% of the land should be allocated to women. What has been the role of donors in these developments? Both on the government’s side and for civil society, NGOs and donor agencies, gender has increasingly come to the fore. Donors have certainly pushed for policies and changes in legislation. In particular, the recent Anti Gender-Based Violence Act has been hailed as a huge step for gender equality, and was heavily supported by donors. The land sector, however, does not receive much donor support. While it is notable that donors (e.g. USAID and the World Bank) supported the process leading to the 1995 Lands Act, no donor supported gender issues within that sector in that period. Some donors do take issues related to women’s access to land into account within their agricultural programmes or through their work on democracy and governance, however. Over the last five years, several programmes implemented by NGOs (national and international) and civil-society organisations have focused entirely on women’s land rights. Despite registering some positive outcomes, especially in areas of knowledge and capacity-building, these programmes have met some challenges. Apart from technical and financial issues, it was observed that changes with regard to land tenure are slow to be institutionalised, if at all, and that mechanisms to enhance the accountability of land administrators on both customary and state land are lacking. These initiatives are taking place against a changing background, as Zambia is now at an important juncture at the policy and legal levels, with attempts to codify customary law and to take steps to strengthen tenure security on customary land. How and when this will be done, and how this codified customary law will be enforced, as well as what impact it will have on women remains to be seen. What is also uncertain is what impact this will have on current policies that are under review (e.g. gender and land policies) and the direction that will be taken with regard to issues of tenure security for women living under customary tenure. Whether and, if so, to what extent donors will adopt a defining role in these coming endeavours is not yet clear, especially in a changing aid landscape, since several donor agencies have now withdrawn from Zambia. 

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Livelihoods, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2014

Empowering Women: Land and Property Rights in Latin America

Citation:

Deere, Carmen Diana, and Magdalena León. 2001. Empowering Women: Land and Property Rights in Latin America. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Authors: Carmen Diana Deere, Magdalena León

Annotation:

Summary: 
The expansion of married women’s property rights was a main achievement of the first wave of feminism in Latin America. As Carmen Diana Deere and Magdalena Leon reveal, however, the disjuncture between rights and actual ownership remains vast. This is particularly true in rural areas, where the distribution of land between men and women is highly unequal. In their pioneering, twelve-country comparative study, the authors argue that property ownership is directly related to women’s bargaining power within the household and community, point out changes resulting from recent gender-progressive legislation, and identify additional areas for future reform, including inheritance rights of wives. (Summary from JSTOR)

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2001

Mastering the Struggle: Gender, Actors and Agrarian Change in a Mexican Ejido

Citation:

Brunt, Dorien. 1992. “Mastering the Struggle: Gender, Actors and Agrarian Change in a Mexican Ejido.” PhD diss., the Agricultural University in Wageningen.

Author: Dorien Brunt

Annotation:

Summary:
"This book is about power and about the social order, but it is approached through the struggles of men and women, members of an ejido in Western Mexico (highly integrated in national and international product and labour markets) to improve the quality of their lives. It explores the possibilities they see and the limitations they are confronted with, and how they try to overcome these limitations. As James Scott (1985:XV-XVII) puts it: 'Most subordinate classes throughout most of history have rarely been afforded the luxury of open political activity. Most subordinated classes are far less interested in changing the larger structures and the law than what Hobsbawm has appropriately called "working the system... to their minimum disadvantage. ... For these reasons it seems to be more important to understand what we might call everyday forms of ... resistance.'
 
"In this case, the everyday struggles are about access to land, access to credit and irrigation water, and keeping control over the land and the production process. But by no means are they only economic struggles, they are also struggles over influence, identity, ideology, creating support. Nor are these struggles only between the local population and the 'representatives of die state', but also take place within the local population itself, between men and women, between those with and those without land, between older and younger generations" (Brunt 1992, 4). 

Topics: Age, Class, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 1992

Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal

Citation:

Bhalotra, Sonia, Abhishek Chakravarty, Dilip Mookherjee, and Francisco J. Pino. 2016. “Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal.” IZA Discussion Paper 9930, The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn, Germany. 

Authors: Sonia Bhalotra, Abhishek Chakravarty, Dilip Mookherjee, Francisco J. Pino

Abstract:

While land reforms are typically pursued in order to raise productivity and reduce inequality across households, an unintended consequence may be increased within-household gender inequality. We analyse a tenancy registration programme in West Bengal, and find that it increased child survival and reduced fertility. However, we also find that it intensified son preference in families without a first-born son to inherit the land title. These families exhibit no reduction in fertility, an increase in the probability that a subsequent birth is male, and a substantial increase in the survival advantage of subsequent sons over daughters.

Keywords: land reform, gender, infant mortality, sex ratio, fertility, Property Rights

Topics: Development, Economies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Reproductive Health, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2016

Can Climate Finance Achieve Gender Equity in Developing Countries?

Citation:

Wong, Sam. 2014. “Can Climate Finance Achieve Gender Equity in Developing Countries?” WIDER Working Paper 2014/064, United Nations University - The World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki. 

Author: Sam Wong

Abstract:

We develop the climate finance-gender equity framework in this paper and use the ‘contextual-procedural-distributive’ equity as a lens of analysis to examine how climate finance helps challenge, and reinforce, gender inequities in the mitigation, adaptation and disaster management strategies. Focusing on the examples of tree-planting, smart-agriculture and disaster information dissemination projects, this paper argues that climate finance can achieve gender equity if three aspects are critically considered: (1) how different incentives and preferences, between men and women, are shaped by their livelihood experiences and priorities, and what factors enable, and restrict, their access to resources; (2) how formal and informal participatory arena offers a genuine space for women, and men, to make decisions that empower them; and (3) how women’s practical and strategic needs are met and the contradictions resolved. This paper also suggests that climate finance needs to address and challenge unequal socio-political arrangements, such as access to land rights, that help perpetuate gender inequities.

Keywords: climate finance, gender equity, access, land rights, Green Climate Fund

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2014

Gender and Land Tenure in the Context of Disaster in Asia

Citation:

Kusakabe, Kyoko, Rajendra Shrestha, and Veena N., eds. 2015. Gender and Land Tenure in the Context of Disaster in Asia. Vol. 21. SpringerBriefs in Environment, Security, Development and Peace. Heidelberg: Springer.
 

Authors: Kyoko Kusakabe, Rajendra Shrestha, Veena N.

Keywords: Asia, disaster, gender, land tenure, Post-disaster Policies, gender roles, land rights, vulnerability

Annotation:

Summary: 
This book explores an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of gender and development studies, disaster and land tenure policy. It is well known that women generally have weaker claims to land. But how does that translate to increased vulnerability during disaster? Using case studies from Asia, this book argues that land tenure is a key factor in mitigating the impact of disasters on women. The scale and frequency of disasters have been increasing in recent decades due to human impact on the landscape and climate. Unsustainable farming and land management systems have increased environmental risks and social vulnerabilities. However, around the world the costs of disasters are disproportionately borne by women, due largely to their reduced mobility and lack of control over assets. In post-disaster settings, women’s vulnerabilities increase due to gendered rescue and rehabilitation practices. As such, a gendered approach to land rights is critical to disaster preparedness and recovery. (From Springer)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Gender and Land Tenure in the Context of Disaster
Veena N. and Kyoto Kusakabe
 
2. Gender Impact of Large-Scale Deforestation and Oil Palm Plantations Among Indigenous Groups in Sarawak, Malaysia. 
Carol Yong and Wee Aik Pang
 
3. Displacing Women, Resettling Families: Impact of Landslides on Women's Land Tenure Rights in Sri Lanka 
Subhangi M.K. Herath
 
4. Impact of Flash Floods on a Matrilineal Society in West Sumatra, Indonesia 
Yonariza and Mahdi
 
5. Urbanization and Disaster: Loss of Women's Property Ownership in Leh, Ladakh
Bhuvaneswari Raman
 
6. A Coir Mill of Their Own: Women's Agency in Post-tsunami Sri Lanka 
Ramanie Jayatilaka
 
7. Gender, Land Tenure, and Disasters in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
Carol Yong, Frans R. Siahaan and Andreas Burghofer

 

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Asia

Year: 2015

Women and Land in Northern Nigeria: The Need for Independent Ownership Rights

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J., and Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim. 2003. “Women and Land in Northern Nigeria: The Need for Independent Ownership Rights.” In Women and Land in Africa: Culture, Religion and Realizing Women’s Rights, edited by L. Muthoni Wanyeki. London: Zed Books.

Authors: Hussaina J. Abdullah, Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim

Annotation:

Summary: 
"This study is therefore intended to contribute to an understanding of land as it relates to women and as viewed from the human rights paradigm. The main objective is to undertake a critical, empirical study of women's land rights in northern Nigeria, and the manner in which these rights are shaped by religion, tradition and law. The purpose is not only to examine women's rights of access to, ownership of and control over land, including women's inheritance rights, but also to study how religion (canonical and Sharia), tradition and law (customary and non-customary) act and interact to condition the definition and practice of women's land rights. The primary focus is a review of historical practice and an analysis of empirical data on three categories of women (married, divorced, and widowed). Marriage is used as a determining variable in women's land rights because it is the major means by which women and men access land in Africa. However, whereas women's land rights are dependent on their relations with men, men's land rights are not dependent on their relations with women. Moreover, women are threatened with dispossession if divorced or widowed (Small 1997: 46)" (Abdullah and Fofana-Ibrahim 2003, 134).

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Religion, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2003

"We Have No Voice for That”: Land Rights, Power, and Gender in Rural Sierra Leone

Citation:

Millar, Gearoid. 2015. “‘We Have No Voice for That’: Land Rights, Power, and Gender in Rural Sierra Leone.” Journal of Human Rights 14 (4): 445–62.

Author: Gearoid Millar

Abstract:

Much attention has recently focused on the lease of land throughout the global south to nations and corporations in the global north. It is argued that local people’s access to and relationships with the land are being redefined and that large segments of these populations are being denied their rights to land with potentially detrimental effects for their livelihoods and food security. This article explores one such project in Sierra Leone, focusing specifically on the experiences of rural women. The data illustrate how these women experience this 40,000 hectare bioenergy project as disempowering and disruptive. While these women may have the formal right to participate in land decisions and project benefits, they had no such right in practice. I argue here that this outcome is the result of compound disempowerment that results from the complex interaction of indigenous social and cultural dynamics and the supposedly gender-neutral logic of liberal economics.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2015

Women’s Bigger Burden: Disparities in Outcomes of Large Scale Land Acquisition in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Armah, Frederick Ato, Karin Steen, and Genesis Tambang Yengoh. 2015. “Women’s Bigger Burden: Disparities in Outcomes of Large Scale Land Acquisition in Sierra Leone.” Gender Issues 32 (4): 221–44.

Authors: Frederick Ato Armah, Karin Steen, Genesis Tambang Yengoh

Abstract:

Women farmers make up a majority of small-scale food producers in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite their important role in the food and livelihood security of their households and communities, women continue to face substantial challenges in their rights of and access to land resources in the region. In a number of countries such as Sierra Leone where large-scale land acquisition is ongoing, we posit that women’s predicament may further deteriorate. Using data drawn from a survey of household and livelihood activities, focus groups and interviews we examine the outcomes of large-scale land acquisitions on women at the local level in two districts in Sierra Leone. We found that first, women depend more on land-based natural resources that directly affect the day-to-day welfare of households (such as firewood and medicinal plants) than men. Second, land acquisitions have led to a significant fall in the incomes of women and men. The effects of the fall of women’s income have more direct and profound consequences on household wellbeing compared with men. Third, men tend to rank the effects of land acquisitions on women lower than women do. We conclude that current social and cultural norms and women’s role in rural societies is complex and predisposes women to negative livelihood processes and outcomes associated with large-scale land acquisitions. Policy interventions designed to address local and national challenges to socio- economic and cultural development should recognize the crucial role played by women and be responsive to their special needs.

Keywords: women, livelihoods, land acquisition, gender, land rights, land resources

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Land grabbing, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2015

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