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Situating Agency, Embodied Practices and Norm Implementation in Peacekeeping Training


Holmes, Georgina. 2019. "Situating Agency, Embodied Practices and Norm Implementation in Peacekeeping Training." International Peacekeeping 26 (1): 55-84.

Author: Georgina Holmes


Applying a Bourdieusian feminist practice theory approach to the study of norm implementation, this article introduces a fourth level of analysis, the embodied subject who is expected to be governed by peacekeeping norms. It does so by examining the training experiences of Rwandan tactical-level female military peacekeepers deployed in mix-gender contingents to UNAMID. It is argued that the pre-deployment training space is a field of norm contestation and negotiation, wherein gendered peacekeeper subject positions and gendered peacekeeping labouring practices are constructed and performed. The research findings suggest that by partially complying with the UN’s gender mainstreaming norms, the Rwanda Defence Force strengthens the military’s gender protection norms and establishes the sexual division of labour of the mission area. Trained to perform a scripted Rwandan female subject position, some women find they are not adequately prepared for the more challenging situations they find themselves in when working in multi-dimensional peacekeeping operations and devise alternative, informal training practices to better equip themselves prior to deployment. The case study draws on 65 depth-interviews with Rwandan military personnel, trainers and external consultants and non-participatory observations of field exercises.

Keywords: peacekeeping, gender, pre-deployment training, norms, international practice theory

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Mainstreaming, Livelihoods, Peacekeeping Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2019

"Catch-22": The Role of Development Institutions in Promoting Gender Equality in Land Law - Lessons Learned in Post-Conflict Pluralist Africa


Kapur, Amrita. 2011. "'Catch-22': The Role of Development Institutions in Promoting Gender Equality in Land Law– Lessons Learned in Post-Conflict Pluralist Africa." Buffalo Human Rights Law Review 17: 75-116.

Author: Amrita Kapur


This article explores the contours of development policies as they have been applied to pluralistic legal systems, with a specific focus on their effects on women in post-conflict African countries. Drawing on research that firmly establishes the importance of women's social, economic and political participation in post-conflict development, it identifies the flaws in gender-neutral land titling initiatives introduced and encouraged by development institutions. It then describes the gender-sensitive laws enacted as a response to continuing gender discriminatory practices in Rwanda, Mozambique and Uganda. While taking into account the existence of customary law, these laws explicitly affirm women's rights with respect to land, property and inheritance.

However, the central government's reliance on local informal governance structures to apply and enforce these laws creates a "Catch-22" situation, whereby the local elites with the power to enforce the law are precisely the people who continue to apply gender-discriminatory customary norms, particularly with respect to land rights. The experiences of the three progressive societies mentioned above are analyzed to provide insight into how statutory and customary systems can develop from divergent conflicting legal orders into a more synthesized union of laws which protects women's land rights and is universally enforced.

Topics: Development, Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Post-Conflict, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda

Year: 2011

Gender and Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Implications for Formalization


Buss, Doris, Blair Rutherford, Jennifer Stewart, Gisèle Eva Côté, Abby Sebina-Zziwa, Richard Kibombo, Jennifer Hinton, and Joanne Lebert. 2019. “Gender and Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Implications for Formalization.” The Extractive Industries and Society 6 (4): 1101-12.

Authors: Doris Buss, Blair Rutherford, Jennifer Stewart, Gisèle Eva Côté, Abby Sebina-Zziwa, Richard Kibombo, Jennifer Hinton, Joanne Lebert


This paper explores the gendered contexts of artisanal and small-scale mining in sub-Saharan Africa, and traces how women are likely to be excluded from current policy pushes to formally regulate the sector. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative research results from six artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sites, two in each of Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, the paper traces how the gendered organization of mining roles, when viewed in relation to women’s disproportionate household and care work, and the gendered norms around what women should do, devalues and delimits women’s mining work. The result, we argue, is that most women will be unlikely to access mining licenses or join and effectively participate in decision-making in miners’ associations/cooperatives. Seemingly neutral interventions like licenses or grouping miners into cooperatives may thus incorporate while normalizing existing gendered exclusions. The paper argues for a recalibration of ASM formalization to ensure that gender is placed at the centre of design and implementation.

Keywords: gender, ASM, formalization, social reproduction

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda

Year: 2019

Gendered Livelihoods in the Artisanal Mining Sector in the Great Lakes Region


Stewart, Jennifer, Richard Kibombo, and L. Pauline Rankin. 2020. "Gendered Livelihoods in the Artisanal Mining sector in the Great Lakes Region." Canadian Journal of African Studies/Revue canadienne des études africaines 54 (1): 37-56.

Authors: Jennifer Stewart, Richard Kibombo, L. Pauline Rankin


Using data collected from a survey administered at seven mine sites in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda, this paper examines differences in the livelihoods and economic well-being of women and men involved in artisanal and small-scale mining. To provide a deeper context, the results from the survey are combined with findings from other methodological approaches. The results provide evidence that men have more experience in the mining sector and that men earn more both at mine sites and at activities not conducted at mine sites. The evidence also highlights the need for research on the artisanal mining sector to be gender sensitive, to yield policies that improve the economic well-being of all those reliant on the sector.
En utilisant les données receuiillies dans le cadre d’une enquête conduite sur sept sites miniers en Ouganda, en République démocratique du Congo et au Rwanda, cet article examine les différences dans les moyens de subsistance et le bien-être économique des femmes et des hommes impliqués dans l’exploitation minière artisanale et à petite échelle. Afin de fournir un contexte plus approfondi, les résultats de l’enquête sont combinés avec les résultats obtenus grâce à d’autres approches méthodologiques. Les résultats montrent que les hommes ont plus d’expérience dans le secteur minier et qu’ils gagnent plus d’argent à la fois sur les sites miniers et dans les activités qu’ils n’y ont pas menées. Les résultats soulignent également la nécessité pour la recherche sur le secteur de l’exploitation minière artisanale d’être sensibilisée au genre en vue de l’élaboration de politiques d’amélioration du bien-être économique de tous ceux qui dépendent de ce secteur.

Keywords: gender, livelihoods, work, economic well-being, artisanal small-scale mining, exploitation minière artisanale et à petite échelle, genre, moyens de subsistance, travail, bien-être économique

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Analysis, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda

Year: 2020

Land Tenure Dynamics in East Africa : Changing Practices and Rights to Land


Otto, Opira, Aida Isinika, and Herman Musahara. 2019. Land Tenure Dynamics in East Africa : Changing Practices and Rights to Land. Current African Issues 65.

Authors: Opira Otto, Aida Isinika, Herman Musahara


Agriculture remains the main source of livelihood for most rural people in East Africa. Farming is dominated by smallholders, of whom the majority are women. Their tenure and access to land is important for reducing rural poverty, enhancing food security and stimulating agricultural development. Secure tenure represents one of the most critical challenges to the development of sustainable agriculture in the region. In an effort to understand the land question and its variation across the region, this book analyses the land reforms, their context and dynamics. The book presents recent studies on the dynamics of land tenure and land tenure reforms in East Africa with a focus on Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. By selecting these five countries, the book is able to show the changing practices and variations in the land tenure dynamics and explain how they relate to historical and more contemporary issues. The chapters are written by researchers, policy makers and activists with a diverse background and experience/expertise in relation to the land question. Their contributions offer a multiperspective basis for critical rethinking and reflection on the future of the land question in East Africa. 

Keywords: land tenure, land ownership, land acquisition, farmers, women's rights, agricultural development, urbanization, East Africa


Table of Contents:

Kjell Havnevik
1. Introduction

Opira Otto
2. When customary land tenure meets land markets : Sustainability of customary land tenure in Tanzania

Aida C. Isinika, Yefred Myenzi and Elibariki Msuya
3. Securing peasants’ land rights through dispossession of the landed rich in Uganda

Fredrick Kisekka-Ntale
4. Land matters in South Sudan

Ole Frahm
5. Effects of large-scale land acquisitions by local elites on small-holder farmers’ access in Tanzania

Hosea Mpogol
6. From male to joint land ownership: The effect on women’s possibilities of using land titles as collateral in Rwanda

Jeannette Bayisenge
7. The benefits for women from land commodification – a critical reflection

Mary Ssonko Nabacwa
8. Is agriculture a generational problem?: The dynamics of youth engagement in agriculture in northern Uganda

David Ross Olanya
9. Legal pluralism and urban poverty in peri-urban Kisumu, Kenya

Leah Onyango
10. Crossroads at the Rural–Urban Interface : The Dilemma of Tenure Types and Land Use Controls in Housing provision and Urban Development in Kenyan Cities

Jack Abuya
11. Our Inheritance: Impacts of Land Distribution on Geita Communities in Tanzania

Godfrey T. Walalaze
12. Land use consolidation and water use in Rwanda: Qualitative reflections on environmental sustainability and inclusion

Theophile Niyonzima, Birasa Nyamulinda, Claude Bizimana and Herman Musahara

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Gender, Women, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda

Year: 2019

An Equal Right to Inherit? Women’s Land Rights, Customary Law and Constitutional Reform in Tanzania


Dancer, Helen. 2017. “An Equal Right to Inherit? Women’s Land Rights, Customary Law and Constitutional Reform in Tanzania.” Social & Legal Studies 26 (3): 291–310.

Author: Helen Dancer


This article explores contemporary contestations surrounding women’s inheritance of land in Africa. Legal activism has gained momentum, both in agendas for law reform and in test case litigation, which reached the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in ES and SC v. United Republic of Tanzania. Comparing the approach of Tanzania to that of its neighbours, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, this article explores patterns of resistance and omission towards enshrining an equal right to inherit in land and succession laws. It identifies two main reasons: neoliberal drivers for land law reform of the 1990s and sociopolitical sensitivity surrounding inheritance of land. It argues that a progressive approach to constitutional and law reform on women’s land rights requires understanding of the realities of claims to family land based on kinship relations. It calls for a holistic approach to land, marriage and inheritance law reform underpinned with constitutional rights to equality and progressive interpretations of living customary law.

Keywords: Africa, CEDAW, Constitution, customary law, gender, inheritance, land, Tanzania, women


Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda

Year: 2017

Women, Land and Empowerment in Rwanda


Abbott, Pamela, Roger Mugisha and Roger Sapsford. 2018. “Women, Land and Empowerment in Rwanda.” Journal of International Development 30: 1006–22.

Authors: Pamela Abbott, Roger Mugisha, Roger Sapsford


Rwanda has recently registered all legal owners of land and has required spouses to be registered as co-owners of joint property; this is aimed at contributing to the empowerment of women, among many other things. A 2015 survey explored the impact of law and official practice on women’s empowerment—whether they knew their rights and whether they could claim them. The conclusion is that there has indeed been some impact. The problems of women’s subordination remain, however, given patriarchal attitudes, unequally shared decision-making and a tension between Rwanda’s espousal of the rule of law on the one hand and the principle of dialogue and consensus on the other. Moreover, the position of a substantial proportion of women in unregistered domestic partnerships has not changed.

Keywords: Land Tenure Regularisation, inheritance, women's empowerment, Rwanda, patriarchy, consensus governance


Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2018

Women's Perceptions of the Girinka (One Cow per Poor Family) Programme, Poverty Alleviation and Climate Resilience in Rwanda


Kayigema, Vincent, and Denis Rugege. 2014. “Women's Perceptions of the Girinka (One Cow per Poor Family) Programme, Poverty Alleviation and Climate Resilience in Rwanda.” Agenda 28 (3): 53-64.

Authors: Vincent Kayigema, Denis Rugege


The Girinka ‘one cow per poor family’ programme has been implemented in Rwanda since 2006 to contribute towards poverty reduction, reduction of child malnutrition as well as to promote climate resilience among poor rural families. Under the programme, every family whose local community confirms it meets national criteria of being poor receives one dairy cow. Impacts of the Girinka programme on female beneficiaries for increasing livelihood options and enabling food security in the drought-prone Bugesera District as well as its potential contribution to climate resilience were assessed. The specific focus was whether the Girinka programme assists female beneficiaries to better cope with climate change in Bugesera District. The key consideration is the extent to which interventions reduce women’s vulnerability to climate change impacts. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used in this study. One hundred and thirty three female beneficiaries were interviewed and four focus group discussions held. The key findings of the study show that the one cow per poor family resulted in expanded land use, improved household nutrition and food security. Changes in agricultural practices resulting from the use of green fertiliser contributed to climate change resilience, increased crop production and generated income for poor rural women. The study reveals that while the government energy policy prioritises biogas energy production and the use of cow dung for biogas energy generation to reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere for climate resilience, few respondents in the study could afford to buy biodigesters. Direct benefits for women who are responsible for energy and the collection of wood for their households are not yet being reaped and depend on affordable biodigesters. The main problems reported by respondents were inadequate veterinary services for care of the cow, the frequent search for water sources during droughts and insufficient land to grow fodder.

Keywords: climate change, climate resilience, Girinka programme, Rwanda, women

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2014

Food (In)Security, Human (In)Security, Women’s (In)Security: State Policies and Local Experiences in Rural Rwanda


Nzayisenga, Marie Jeanne, Camilla Orjuela, and Isabell Schierenbeck. 2016. “Food (In)Security, Human (In)Security, Women’s (In)Security: State Policies and Local Experiences in Rural Rwanda.” African Security 9 (4): 278-98.

Authors: Marie Jeanne Nzayisenga, Camilla Orjuela, Isabell Schierenbeck


Despite the growing importance of the concept [of] human security, security studies in Africa remain largely focused on the threat of direct violence and the role of state actors. This article broadens the security agenda by focusing on food security and discusses how women in rural Rwanda experience and view food security. In making individual women the referent of security, the article exposes the gap between national level reforms, which aim to and have been deemed successful to combat poverty and increase food production, and the experiences of women who report a decline in food availability and increased problems in accessing food in the wake of reforms and who often struggle against hunger in a disadvantaged position within their households and local power structures. Building on 51 interviews with women in western Rwanda conducted in 2013 and 2014, the article illustrates how the human security perspective with a sensitivity to gender relations and positions is important for gaining a fuller picture of the security of individuals. 

Keywords: agricultural reforms, food security, human security, Rwanda, women's security

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Poverty, Food Security, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Households, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2016

When “Bright Futures” Fade: Paradoxes of Women’s Empowerment in Rwanda


Berry, Marie E. 2015. "When 'Bright Futures' Fade: Paradoxes of Women’s Empowerment in Rwanda." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 41 (1): 1-27.

Author: Marie E. Berry


"Recent qualitative work has challenged many of the impressive development indicators that the Government of Rwanda has presented to the international donor community. This article continues in this mold, employing qualitative methods and a bottom-up perspective to illustrate three paradoxes of development efforts that have emerged within different social institutions—including the family, the education system, and the labor market. Each of these paradoxes serves as an example of how efforts to promote women have failed to fundamentally transform ordinary women’s lives. In the first, patriarchal processes conflate adulthood with marriage, denying unwed women the same rights as their married counterparts and thus reinforcing women’s dependence on men. In the second, well-intentioned education policies promoting girls have unintended effects, which ultimately create new forms of oppression for women. Finally, the ambitious development enterprise led by the government is only made possible through the repression of some of its citizens, which essentially entrenches their poverty even more deeply. Combined, these three paradoxes suggest that the very efforts intended to remedy women’s subordination have indirectly reinforced it in particular ways. This article joins a tradition of feminist scholarship that cautions against an easy reading of efforts to promote social change" (Berry 2015, 3). 

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Development, Education, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Households, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2015


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