A Feminist Critique of Land, Politics and Law in Kenya

Citation:

Meroka, Agnes K. 2012. "A Feminist Critique of Land, Politics and Law in Kenya." PhD diss., University of Warwick.

Author: Agnes K. Meroka

Abstract:

Land in Kenya has social, economic and political dimensions, which overlap and conflict. Land conflicts are one of the root causes of political crises which the country has experienced since the formation of the modern state through colonialism. Although the link between land and politics has been much studied, the gender dimension has been neglected. Where it has been addressed within the women‟s land rights discourse there has been a failure to appreciate the multi-dimensionality of land, addressing only the economic implications from a gender perspective. As a result there is little analysis of the way in which women experience inequalities arising out of political processes which shape and influence Kenya‟s land system. In 2008, the Commission of Inquiry into Post Election Violence (CIPEV) reported various types of inequalities which women faced with regard to land, and which arose as a result of distributional land problems in the country. It raised for the first time the way in which gender and ethnicity intersected to produce the inequalities and disadvantages women experienced during the period of election violence. This thesis addresses this intersectionality. It argues that the nature of women‟s inequality with regard to land in Kenya is much broader than questions of rights of access, control and ownership and consequently that gender inequality relating to land is Kenya is mis-framed. It analyses the nature of this mis-framing and drawing on the fieldwork conducted within three communities argues that what is needed is a contextualised understanding of intersectionality. Such an understanding of intersectionality requires analyses of the interplay between law and politics, and how this interplay produces experiences of inequality and disadvantage amongst women.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Resource Conflict, Economies, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2012

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