Gender and the Politics of the Land Reform Process in Tanzania


Manji, Ambreena. 1998. “Gender and the Politics of the Land Reform Process in Tanzania.” The Journal of Modern African Studies 36 (4): 645–67.

Author: Ambreena Manji


In 1998, over seven years after a Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters was appointed by the then president of Tanzania, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, in January 1991, it is expected that a Land Bill will be tabled in the Tanzanian National Assembly. These seven years have witnessed mounting debate on the purpose and direction of land tenure reform. The purpose of this article is to review the debate in order to show that the question of women's unequal rights to land has been almost totally neglected. The article explores the politics of the land tenure reform process in Tanzania, and examines the reasons why the gender gap in the command over property has received little attention. Tanzania is presently at an important juncture in the restructuring of land relations. Since the issue of land reform came to the forefront of the political agenda in the early 1990s, an opportunity has existed to address the question of women's ownership and control of land. I argue, however, that this opportunity has not been taken, and that the issue of women's land rights has become marginalised within the debate and consequently in policy.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 1998

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at