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Rights

How Much Land Does a Woman Need? Women, Land Rights and Rural Development

Esther Kingston-Mann

April 18, 2019

Integrated Sciences Complex, 3rd Floor, Conference Room 3300, UMass Boston

The failure to include gender in the economic history of rural development has severely limited our understanding of the colonial, privatizing and collectivist economic policies that disrupted and transformed the lives of rural women and men in the modern world. This talk will rewrite a piece of that history, exploring rural development in 20th-century Kenya through the lens of women’s labor and land claims. In the course of the 20th-century, Kikuyu women resisted efforts by husbands, fathers, brothers, tribal authorities and the state to control women-cultivated lands. Were these women seeking private land of their own, or were they advancing claims that didn't fit neatly into preconceived capitalist or pre-capitalist categories?

Esther Kingston Mann is the Ford Service Professor of History Emerita and the founder of Kingston-Mann Awards for Undergraduate Student Excellence in Diversity Inclusion Scholarship 2004-2019. Her research has focused on three related areas. She has used Comparative Studies to look at the relationship between "modernizers" and the rural women and men they attempt to "modernize" (In Search of the True West: Culture, Economics and Problems of Rural Development, 1999). Her research on Female Economic Agency is found in her book, Women, Land Rights and Rural Development: How Much Land Does a Woman Need? (2018). And she has explored Claiming Property ("The Return of Pierre Proudhon: Privatization, Crime, and the Rules of Law," 2006.)

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This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Economics Dept; History Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept; the Honors College; the Sociology Club; and the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy.

Towards Inclusive Peace: Analysing Gender-Sensitive Peace Agreements 2000–2016

Citation: True, Jacqui, and Yolanda Riveros-Morales. 2019. “Towards Inclusive Peace: Analysing Gender-Sensitive Peace Agreements 2000–2016.” International Political Science Review 40 (1): 23–40.

Authors: Jacqui True, Yolanda Riveros-Morales

Abstract: The presence of gender provisions in peace agreements affects women’s participation in post-conflict societies as well as the chances that a post-conflict society will move towards gender equality. While there is an overall upward trend in the number of references to women’s rights and gender equality in peace agreements, gender-sensitive agreements are not a given. Why and how are peace agreements with gender provisions adopted? We use statistical analysis to explain why some peace agreements adopt gender provisions while others have no such provisions. Based on an analysis of 98 peace agreements across 55 countries between 2000 and 2016, we find that peace agreements are significantly more likely to have gender provisions when women participate in elite peace processes. Our study also shows that the likelihood of achieving a peace agreement with gender provisions increases when women’s representation in national parliaments increases and when women’s civil society participation is significant.

Keywords: Peace agreeements, women, peace and security, women's political participation, inclusive peace processes, gender equality norms

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, NGOs, Peace Processes, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2019

Fertile Memory (Al Dhakira al Khasba)

The first full length film to be shot within the disputed Palestinian West Bank "Green Line," Fertile Memory is the feature debut of Michel Khleifi, acclaimed director of the Cannes Film Festival triumph, Wedding in Galilee. Lyrically blending both documentary and narrative elements, Khleifi skillfully and lovingly crafts a portrait of two Palestinian women whose individual struggles both define and transcend the politics that have torn apart their homes and their lives.

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

Pages

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