Women’s Tenure Rights and Land Reform in Angola


Cain, Allan. 2019. "Women’s Tenure Rights and Land Reform in Angola." Paper prepared for 2019 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, Washington D.C., March 25-29. 

Author: Allan Cain


Current Angolan municipalisation reforms present a unique opportunity to affect local practice on how community and individual land-holder tenure is administered and to protect women's equitable rights to land. Angola is a post-war country, with weak land tenure legislation and limited local government management capacity. Customary traditions are practiced in the various regions a of the country do not respect women’s rights of ownership and inheritance. More than 62 percent of the population live in informal settlements with insecure land tenure under the threat of forced evictions. Families living in poor communities affected by the expansion of cities and towns are particularly vulnerable. Of these, families lead by women are the most at risk. Securing rights to land and housing assets are important to livelihoods of women headed households by permitting access to financing that they require to grow their enterprises as well as for incrementally upgrading their housing.

Keywords: women, Gender, tenure, land reform, customary, human rights

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Land Tenure, Households, Post-Conflict, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Angola

Year: 2019

The Gender Dimensions of Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The World Bank Track Record


Zuckerman, Elaine, Suzanna Dennis, and Marcia E. Greenberg. 2007. The Gender Dimensions of Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The World Bank Track Record. Washington, D.C.: Gender Action. 

Authors: Elaine Zuckerman, Suzanna Dennis, Marcia E. Greenberg


This paper is the latest in a Gender Action series underlining the continuing disconnect between World Bank rhetoric on the need for gender equality to reduce poverty, and scarce gender considerations in large Bank investments. Through evaluating World Bank investments in Post-Conflict Reconstruction (PCR) situations including a sample of its large PCR development loans and its small Post-Conflict Fund (PCF) grants, we demonstrate the limited extent to which the world’s largest public development institution meets its own promised objective to “mainstream gender” into all its investments.

This paper belongs to Gender Action’s tradition of holding the World Bank accountable on its unmet gender equality and broader social commitments. Gender Action’s analysis of gender issues in World Bank PCR programs reinforces the findings of our other work demonstrating that Bank loans exacerbate gender discrimination through poverty reduction strategies, policy reforms also known as Structural Adjustment Programs, environment and infrastructure investments. If this pattern does not end, not only will poverty expand but it will continue to feminize in a world where many claim that women already constitute over 70 percent of the poor.

Our paper is structured as follows: Section 2 outlines a conceptual framework to analyze and evaluate the gender dimensions of post conflict work. It suggests three interrelated dimensions for addressing gender within post-conflict reconstruction: (1) women-focused activities; (2) gender aware programming; and (3) social transformation through the promotion of gender equality. Section 3 is the centerpiece of this paper through which we apply the conceptual framework to the Bank’s investments and interventions. It first explains our methodology, and then raises examples. Section 4 reviews the extent to which the World Bank has integrated women-focused activities, gender aware programming and social transformation into important elements of post-conflict reconstruction. Throughout the paper, we recommend genderfocused approaches for building peaceful and equitable post-conflict societies based on examples of World Bank and other donor projects. In Section 5 we conclude with practical recommendations for World Bank PCR to improve its track record on gender both for women and for the families, communities and nations of which they are such an integral part.

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Angola, Cambodia, Colombia, Iraq, Rwanda, Sri Lanka

Year: 2007

Gender and (Militarized) Secessionist Movements in Africa: An African Feminist’s Reflections


Mougoué, Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta. 2018. "Gender and (Militarized) Secessionist Movements in Africa: An African Feminist's Reflections." Meridians 17 (2): 338-58.

Author: Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta Mougoué


Utilizing interdisciplinary and multimethodological approaches, this essay explores women’s roles in buttressing the political cohesion of secessionist movements in postcolonial Africa. It argues that African women have supported the actions of male-dominated secessionist movements in order to garner their own social and political power. Using case studies from Anglophone Cameroon, Western Sahara, Cabinda Province (Angola), and Biafra (Nigeria), the essay historicizes and outlines a new analytical framework that explores women’s multifaceted participation in secessionist movements in modern-day Africa.

Keywords: Gender, secessionism, Cameroon, Cabinda, Western Sahara, Biafra

Topics: Armed Conflict, Secessionist Wars, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Central Africa, North Africa, West Africa Countries: Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria, Western Sahara

Year: 2018

Luanda's Post-War Land Markets: Reducing Poverty by Promoting Inclusion


Cain, Allan. 2013. Luanda's Post-War Land Markets: Reducing Poverty by Promoting Inclusion. Urban Forum 24 (1) (03): 11-31.

Author: Cain Allan


Almost 40 years of war in Angola forced millions of people fleeing rural areas to seek a safe haven in the capital and to settle in informal slum settlements ( musseques) on the periphery of Luanda. The new urban migrants created homes and settlements on landthat they purchased in good faith but for which they could get no legal title. Now, they face eviction threats due to commercial interests and government infrastructure expansion. With a population today approaching of over six million, Luanda is Africa's fastest growing and fifth largest city. A decade of post-war rapid economic growth, fuelled by rising commodity prices, has seen GDP per capita grow eightfold, but poverty reduction has not kept apace. The poor, representing over 50 % of the population, have benefited little from the 'peace dividend'. The Angolan Government has promised to build one million homes country-wide before the 2012 elections and aims to eliminate much of the musseque in the process. However, the government's urban plans remain hindered by a weak administration and little national implementation capacity. Despite the government's assertion as the unique owner and manager of all land, there exists a thriving real-estate market for both formal (titled) and informally occupied land. Most urban residents with weak or non-existent tenure rights benefit little from increasing land values and are susceptible to being forcibly removed and increasingly obliged to occupy environmentally risky flood-prone areas. This paper presents the results of work on property markets in Luanda that permit a better understanding of the nature and economic value of land and identify the problems and potentials the market has to offer. The paper argues for a major reform in public land policy, recognising the legitimacy of common practices inland acquisition and long-term occupation in good faith. Inclusive land management, adapting to both formal and existing informal markets, can contribute to the improvement of urban settlement conditions and economic wellbeing of the poor in post-war Luanda.

Keywords: Angola, land markets, post-conflict, slum, urban, tenure

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Economies, Land Tenure, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Infrastructure, Post-Conflict, Peace Processes, Rights, Property Rights, Religion Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Angola

Year: 2013

From Soldiers to Citizens, or Soldiers to Seamstresses: Reintegrating Girl and Women Soldiers in Sierra Leone


MacKenzie, Megan H. 2007. “From Soldiers to Citizens, or Soldiers to Seamstresses: Reintegrating Girl and Women Soldiers in Sierra Leone.” In . Chicago, IL.


Author: Megan H MacKenzie


Maintaining security in a post-conflict country is often seen to be dependant on peace-building and reconstruction. One can hardly escape terms such as building sustainable peace and post-conflict construction. The disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and rehabilitation, or DDR-R process for former combatants is being touted as an ideal model for ensuring that post-conflict societies return to peace. These four simple steps to lasting security have been used as a model in war torn countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola. The logic is that these steps aid in restoring countries to more secure, stable times. More specifically, this model streamlines former combatants from soldiers to citizens. Given that the task of this process is to encourage combatants to shed their roles as fighters and to return to their former pre-war roles, it seems intuitive that the way that women and girls go through this process is of particular interest. In fact, despite the ascendancy of this DDR-R model, there has been little critical analysis of the implications of this process for women in war-torn countries. Using Sierra Leone as a case study, I explore how women and girls have been included and treated at each phase of this process. I look specifically at the tendency of organizations and agencies operating DDR-R programs to promote a return of women and girls to their pre-war roles and the tension that women and girls feel between the power they gained as combatants and the social pressure to reintegrate. I also examine the implications, for women and girls, of international and national organizations commitment to equating security with the return to pre-war society rather than rethinking relations of power. I include testimonies from 50 former girl soldiers who talk about their roles during the conflict and their hopes for themselves today.

Keywords: women, conflict, development, security, post-conflict, reintegration

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, "New Wars", Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Girls, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Post-Conflict, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa Countries: Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2007

Women, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Deforestation: a Cross-National Study


Shandra, John M., Carrie L. Shandra, and Bruce London. 2008. “Women, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Deforestation: A Cross-National Study.” Population and Environment 30 (1-2): 48–72.

Authors: John M. Shandra, Carrie L. Shandra, Bruce London


There have been several cross-national studies published in the world polity theoretical tradition that find a strong correlation between nations with high levels of environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and low levels of various forms of environmental degradation. However, these studies neglect the role that women’s NGOs potentially play in this process. We seek to address this gap by conducting a cross-national study of the association between women’s NGOs and deforestation. We examine this relationship because deforestation often translates into increased household labor, loss of income, and impaired health for women and, as a result, women’s non-governmental organizations have become increasingly involved in dealing with these problems often by protecting forests. We use data from a sample of 61 nations for the period of 1990–2005. We find substantial support for world polity theory that both high levels of women’s and environmental NGOs per capita are associated with lower rates of deforestation. We also find that high levels of debt service and structural adjustment are correlated with higher rates of forest loss. We conclude with a discussion of findings, policy implications, and possible future research directions.

Keywords: deforestation, women, non-governmental organizations, cross-national

Topics: Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, NGOs Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, North America, South America, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Baltic states, Balkans, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Oceania Countries: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Year: 2008

Cycles of Violence: Gender Relations and Armed Conflict


El-Bushra, Judy, and Ibrahim M.G. Sahl. 2005. Cycles of Violence: Gender Relations and Armed Conflict. Nairobi: ACORD - Agency for Co-Operation and Research in Development.

Authors: Judy El-Bushra, Ibrahim M.G. Sahl


This book describes ACORD's research 'Gender-sensitive Design and Planning in Conflict-Affected Situations', carried out during 2000 and 2001 in five communities living in the shadow of violent conflict in Juba (Sudan), Gulu (Uganda), Luanda (Angola), Timbuktu (Mali) and the Lower Shabelle region (Somalia). It also includes analysis of data collected earlier in Eritrea and Rwanda. Two main questions are examined in this book: What is the impact of war on gender relations? And can gender relations contribute to conflict?

The analysis in this book explores the term 'gender relations' and unravels it into gender 'roles', 'identities', 'ideologies' and 'institutions/power structures', examining how each of these changes as a result of war. It finds that, while gender is a factor in perpetuating violence, it is also a factor in rebuilding social relations and peace.

This book also addresses the challenges in methodologies and tools for research in turbulence. The aim is to develop flexible and sensitive research methods that go beyond information collection into engaging in joint reflection with communities about issues confronting them. Agencies should no longer continue to work only 'in' conflict rendering practical services, but also jointly work 'on' it with communities to analyse and address the factors which perpetuate it.

Keywords: gender relations, armed conflict, violence, oral testimony, Uganda, Sudan, Mali, Angola, Somalia


Table of Contents:

Working 'in' and working 'on' violent conflict
The evolution of gender policy
Development research and its place in operational development practice
Aims and structure of the present volume


The historical background to the war in Uganda
Gender and ethnic identity in Acholiland
The impact of the war on the Acholi community
Ethnic and gender norms as contributory factors in the dynamics of conflict

The historical background to the war in the Sudan
Impact of conflict on Juba and the surrounding area
Impacts on individual men and women
Impact of the war on gender relations
Gender identity and its contribution to conflict

The historical background to the conflict in Somalia
The impact of the war on the Lower Shabelle region
The impact on individual men and women
Impact on different clan groups
Impact on gender relations

Historical background to the conflict in Angola
A sketch of the research area
The impact of the war on Km 9
The impact of the conflict on gender relations in Km 9
Gender identity and its contributions to the conflict situation

Historical background to the rebellion in northern Mali
Impact of conflict on the Timbuktu area
The impact of the rebellion on gender relations



Economic impacts: livelihoods and the division of labour
The personal dimensions of social change in war: marriage and sexuality
Discussion on war and the nature of social change: Do gender relations change?
Gender roles
Gender identities
Gender institutions/power structures
Gender ideologies
Analysing gender relations: a framework
Lessons and challenges
Livelihoods, vulnerability and autonomy
Gender and social justice
Rebuilding institutions


Power and patriarchy: conceptual resources for conflict analysis
Complexity and conflict
Gender, power, identity and violence
Patriarchy and the structures of oppressive power
Evidence from the case studies
Patriarchy and violent struggles for identity and control
Gender identity and its impact on cycles of violence
Gender impact flowchart: 'how gender identity can contribute to cycles of violence'
The complexity of conflict causes and impacts
Ways out: strategies for conflict transformation


The research process
The strengths and weaknesses of oral testimony as a research method
Open-ended and participatory research as a tool for development


Annex 1: Social exclusion analysis
Annex 2: Summary of conflict impacts in northern Mali
Annex 3: Timbuktu Guidelines on Oral Testimony

Full Report:

Book Reviews of Cycles of Violence:

By Susan McKay:

Topics: Armed Conflict, Economies, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Angola, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda

Year: 2005

Women’s Land Rights in Post-Conflict Angola


Nielsen, Robin. 2008. Women’s Land Rights in Post-Conflict Angola. 125. Seattle: Rural Development Institute.

Author: Robin Nielsen


As it emerges from almost 30 years of civil war, Angola has worked hard to establish the rule of law in a highly pluralistic society. Although it has enacted legislation that articulates gender equity, customary laws and traditional practices prevail in the lives of most Angolans. These customs favor men over women, and, as a result, the majority of Angolan women remain trapped by illiteracy, limited economic opportunities, and the need to care for children and relatives. With 70 percent of Angola’s population living on less than $2 per day, and more than half the population reliant on agriculture for their livelihoods, secure land tenure is a critical issue.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equity, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Angola

Year: 2008

Reintegrating Young Combatants: do child-centred approaches leave children—and adults—behind?


McMullin, Jaremy. 2011. “Reintegrating Young Combatants: Do Child-Centred Approaches Leave Children—and Adults—behind?” Third World Quarterly 32 (4): 743–64.

Author: Jaremy McMullin


This article uses recent experience in Angola to demonstrate that young fighters were not adequately or effectively assisted after war ended in 2002. The government's framework excluded children from accessing formal disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programmes, and its subsequent attempts to target children have largely failed. More critically the case of Angola calls into question the broader effectiveness and appropriateness of child-centred DDR. First, such targeting is inappropriate to distinct postconflict contexts and constructs a 'template child' asserted to be more vulnerable and deserving than adult ex-combatants, which does little to further the reintegration of either group, or the rights of the child in a conflict context. Second, child-centred reintegration efforts tend to deny children agency as actors in their own reintegration. Third, such efforts contribute to the normalisation of a much larger ideational and structural flaw of post-conflict peace building, wherein 'success' is construed as the reintegration of large numbers of beneficiaries back into the poverty and marginalisation that contributed to conflict in the first place.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, DDR, Gender, Girls, Boys, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Angola

Year: 2011

Girl Soldiers and Human Rights: Lessons from Angola, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Northern Uganda


Denov, Myriam. 2008. “Girl Soldiers and Human Rights: Lessons from Angola, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Northern Uganda.” International Journal of Human Rights 12 (5): 813–36.

Author: Myriam Denov


The issue of child soldiers has become an issue of global concern. More than 250,000 soldiers under the age of 18 are fighting in conflicts in over 40 countries around the world. While there is ample descriptive evidence of the conditions and factors underlying the rise of child soldiery in the developing world, most of the literature has portrayed this as a uniquely male phenomenon, ultimately neglecting the experiences and perspectives of girls within fighting forces. Drawing upon the findings of three studies funded by the Canadian International Development Agency's Child Protection Research Fund, this paper traces the perspectives and experiences of girls as victims and participants of violence and armed conflict in Angola, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, and Northern Uganda. The three studies collectively reveal three salient themes. First, whether in the heat of conflict or within post-war programming, girls are, for the most part, rendered invisible and marginalised. Second, in spite of this profound invisibility and marginalisation, girls are fundamental to the war machine—their operational contributions are integral and critical to the overall functioning of armed groups. Third, girls in fighting forces contend with overwhelming experiences of victimisation, perpetration, and insecurity. In the aftermath of conflict, girls arguably bear a form of secondary victimisation through socio-economic marginalisation and exclusion, as well as the ongoing threats to their health and personal security.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Human Security, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Angola, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Uganda

Year: 2008


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