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

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