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Women's Rights

Property Rights and the Gender Distribution of Wealth in Ecuador, Ghana and India

Citation:

Deere, Carmen Diana, Abena D. Oduro, Hema Swaminathan, and Cheryl Doss. 2013. “Property Rights and the Gender Distribution of Wealth in Ecuador, Ghana and India.” Journal of Economic Inequality 11 (2): 249–65.

Authors: Cheryl Doss, Carmen Diana Deere, Abena D. Oduro, Hema Swaminathan

Abstract:

Women’s ability to accumulate wealth is often attributed to whether they have property rights; i.e., a legal personality to own and manage property. In this paper we argue that basic property rights are insufficient; whether women are able to accumulate wealth also depends upon the marital and inheritance regimes in particular contexts. Drawing upon surveys which collected individual level ownership data in Ecuador, Ghana and the state of Karnataka in India, we estimate married women’s share of couple wealth and relate it to how assets are owned within marriage as well as to different inheritance regimes and practices. In Ecuador, married women own 44 %, in Ghana, 19 %, and in Karnataka, 9 % of couple wealth. Ecuador is characterized by the partial community property regime in marriage while inheritance laws provide for all children, irrespective of sex, to be treated equally, norms that are largely followed in practice. In contrast, Ghana and India are characterized by the separation of property regime which does not recognize wives’ contribution to the formation of marital property, and by inheritance practices that are strongly male biased. Reforming marital and inheritance regimes must remain a top priority if gender economic equality is to be attained.

Keywords: inheritance regimes, marital regimes, women's property rights, asset ownership, wealth in developing countries

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Ecuador, Ghana, India

Year: 2013

Land Tenure and Forest Rights of Rural and Indigenous Women in Latin America: Empirical Evidence

Citation:

Bose, Purabi. 2017. "Land Tenure and Forest Rights of Rural and Indigenous Women in Latin America: Empirical Evidence." Women's Studies International Forum 65: 1-8.

Author: Purabi Bose

Abstract:

Latin America's land-use and communal forests needs a better understanding through a lens of women. This research article aims to examine Latin America's secured individual land tenure legal reforms and communal rights in indigenous territories. Two empirical case studies are presented to assess the current dynamics of rural women's land title rights in coffee agroforestry under Colombia's new Formalización Propiedad Rural program, and indigenous Quechua women's communal forest land rights for indigenous foods like kañawa and quinoa farming in highland Bolivia. In doing so, it also gives an introduction to the five empirical research papers that are part of this Special Section edited by the author. The specific case studies are from the Brazilian Amazon, Bolivia's Gran Chaco area, Nicaragua's indigenous territories and two studies from Mexico – one from Oaxaca's central valley and the other is based on smallholder farming in Calakmul rural area. In conclusion, the author discusses the need to prioritise women's role in individual land rights and communal forest tenure in Latin American countries. 

Keywords: Latin America, communal forests, indigenous peoples, women, land tenure, food security, joint titling, Brazilian Amazon, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and Nicaragua

Topics: Food Security, Gendered Power Relations, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua

Year: 2017

From Male to Joint Land Ownership: Women's Experiences of the Land Tenure Reform Programme in Rwanda

Citation:

Bayisenge, Jeannette. 2018. "From Male to Joint Land Ownership: Women's Experiences of the Land Tenure Reform Programme in Rwanda." Journal of Agrarian Change 18 (3): 588-605.

Author: Jeannette Bayisenge

Abstract:

During the post‐genocide period, the Government of Rwanda embarked on a land tenure reform programme that culminated in a land registration and titling process in 2009. This paper intends to capture women's experiences in relation to this programme. The empirical data were collected in Musanze District using a household survey, semi‐structured interviews, and focus group discussions. The main findings reveal that there is support of the general idea that women should benefit from the land tenure reform in Rwanda. However, there is some criticism towards parts of the land laws, and women have limited actual knowledge about land‐related laws. With land titles, women mostly have a say on the land use decisions requiring each of the spounses' legal consents but not on the daily management of land and its produce. Finally, the paper reports the persistence of social norms and culturally biased gender ideologies affecting the effective implementation of land‐related laws and policies. Therefore, the paper underscores the need to build the implementation of new laws and policies on a good understanding of customary practices to strengthen women's land rights in Rwanda.

Keywords: land rights, land tenure reform, Rwanda, women's experiences

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2018

Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda

Citation:

Adoko, Judy, and Simon Levine. 2008. "Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda." In Women's Land Rights and Privatization in Eastern Africa, edited by Birgit Englert and Elizabeth Daley, 101-20. Woodbridge, Suffolk; Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, James Currey. 

Authors: Judy Adoko, Simon Levine

Annotation:

Summary: 
"As in other countries in Africa, there are two parallel and competing histories of land tenure in Uganda. The indigenous systems evolved to suit the needs of different local groups, or at least certain elite members in those groups, in a variety of different ecological and economic circumstances. They worked on rules which have never been written down, making it easy for outsiders to consider all these systems as ‘customary tenure’ a single, unchanging system of rules and administration. Another, written, history began with British colonialism. The British introduced a system of freehold title under which client chiefs and kingdoms (as well as missions) were granted formal land rights. All land which was not registered was considered by the British to be ‘crown land’. Although customary tenure continued to operate on this land, the customary owners had little protection from the arbitrary expropriation of their property. The British colonial administrators regarded customary ownership as backward and a constraint to economic development, which by the 1950s they intended to replace with the ‘modern’ system of freehold. However, colonialism ended before this could be implemented" (Adoko and Levine 2008, 101). 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2008

Empowering Women Through Land Tenure Reform: The Rwanda Experience

Citation:

Ngoga, Thierry Hoza. 2012."Empowering Women Through Land Tenure Reform: The Rwanda Experience." Paper presented at the Expert Group Meeting Good Practices in Realizing Women's Rights to Productive Resources, With a Focus on Land, Geneva, Switzerland, June 25-27.

Author: Thierry Hoza Ngoga

Abstract:

Since 2004, Rwanda has embarked on an ambitious land tenure reform programme (LTR) aimed at increasing security of tenure to all land owners and the elimination of all forms of discrimination. This has largely been achieved through the establishment and implementation of a new legal, regulatory and institutional framework.
 
This paper discusses the ongoing land tenure reform programme and its impact on women’s land rights. It focuses on the role of women in the decision making in the course of developing the legal and regulatory framework, the rights that those tools provide to women and the inclusiveness and protection of women’s land rights in the ongoing land registration programme. The aim of the paper is then to draw on some best practices gleaned from the programme in protecting women’s rights to land.

Topics: Gender, Women, Peace and Security, Justice, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2012

The Battle After the War: Gender Discrimination in Property Rights and Post-Conflict Property Restitution

Citation:

Mohan, Sharanya Sai. 2011. "The Battle After the War: Gender Discrimination in Property Rights and Post-Conflict Property Restitution." The Yale Journal of International Law 36 (2): 461-95.

Author: Sharanya Sai Mohan

Annotation:

Summary: 
“This note argues that property restitution programs in transitional justice settings need to correct barriers to women's property ownership. In so doing, efforts by government, civil society, and the displaced themselves to achieve transitional justice can also create long-lasting property rights reform that moves a post-conflict society toward both reconstruction and equality. After considering the existing international legal framework as well as several case studies of transitional justice schemes, this Note will argue that actors in transitional justice should take certain steps at the very beginning of the transitional process to ensure that women's property rights are protected as they return to their lives” (Mohan 2011, 463).

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Peace and Security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Law, Justice, Transitional Justice, Land grabbing, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2011

Controlling Land They Call Their Own: Access and Women's Empowerment in Northern Tanzania

Citation:

Goldman, Mara J., Alicia Davis, and Jani Little. 2016. “Controlling Land They Call Their Own: Access and Women's Empowerment in Northern Tanzania.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 43 (4): 777-97.

Authors: Mara J. Goldman, Alicia Davis, Jani Little

Abstract:

Formal rights to land are often promoted as an essential part of empowering women, particularly in the Global South. We look at two grassroots non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on land rights and empowerment with Maasai communities in Northern Tanzania. Women involved with both NGOS attest to the power of land ownership for personal empowerment and transformations in gender relations. Yet very few have obtained land ownership titles. Drawing from Ribot and Peluso's theory of access, we argue that more than ownership rights to land, access – to land, knowledge, social relations and political processes – is leading to empowerment for these women, as well as helping to keep land within communities. We illustrate how the following are key to both empowerment processes and protecting community and women's land: (1) access to knowledge about legal rights, such as the right to own land; (2) access to customary forms of authority; and (3) access to a joint social identity – as women, as ‘indigenous people’ and as ‘Maasai'. Through this shared identity and access to knowledge and authority, women are strengthening their access to social relations (amongst themselves, with powerful political players and NGOs), and gaining strength through collective action to protect land rights.

Keywords: Property Rights, maasai, land, gender, women, tanzania, empowerment, access

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2016

Women and Land Rights in Cambodia

Citation:

Kusakabe, Kyoko, Wang Yunxian, and Govind Kelkar. 1995. "Women and Land Rights in Cambodia." Economic and Political Weekly 30 (43): WS87-92

Authors: Kyoko Kusakabe, Wang Yunxian, Govind Kelkar

Abstract:

After the abandonment of the 'krom samaki' system of collective farming in 1989, both women and men of the People's Republic of Kampuchea secured equal titles to land under the liberalisation process adopted by the government. However, with contradictory and unclear legislation and with no checks and balances, the number of land disputes increased dramatically. This article attempts to understand the effect of this phenomenon on women's social position and on gender relations in Cambodia.

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia

Year: 1995

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