Gender and Property Formalization: Conventional and Alternative Approaches


Varley, Ann. 2007. “Gender and Property Formalization: Conventional and Alternative Approaches.” World Development 35 (10): 1739–53. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2007.06.005.

Author: Ann Varley


Securing property rights in both rural landholdings and urban housing is a much-debated feature of current development policy. Providing title for the household does not guarantee security for women, and legal equality may fail to prevent gender differences in property ownership. A pro-active approach to women’s property rights is needed. Disenchantment with state programs delivering individual titles has led to calls for alternative strategies emphasizing local or customary authorities and procedures. This paper questions the ability of either approach to address gender inequalities effectively without affirmative action but suggests that informal responses within state institutions can help.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Property Rights

Year: 2007

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