Gender Equality in Ownership of Agricultural Land in Rural Tanzania: Does Matrilineal Tenure System Matter?

Citation:

Kongela, Sophia Marcian. 2020. “Gender Equality in Ownership of Agricultural Land in Rural Tanzania: Does Matrilineal Tenure System Matter?” African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences 3 (3): 13-27.

Author: Sophia Marcian Kongela

Abstract:

Gender gap in ownership of agricultural land is still wide in many developing countries, mainly in favour of men. In some of these countries, both patrilineal and matrilineal systems are practised and recognized by governments. Tanzania is one of the countries in which both systems are practised. This paper explores the extent of gender equality in ownership of agricultural land in Kisarawe and Mkuranga districts which are typical rural agricultural settings and mainly matrilineal societies in Tanzania. It also attempts to examine women’s benefits from agricultural activities. Respondents were randomly selected from village registers of the six villages studied. The findings contradict the conventional narratives of gender inequality that women are discriminated in land ownership. Despite insignificant percentage of societies which embrace matrilineal system in Tanzania, to a large extent the system seems to support women in owning land in those societies. However, a few elements of gender discrimination were noted especially for widows and divorced women. The findings make a case for more intervention in ensuring statutory and customary land tenure practices are complimentary in enhancing gender equality in accessing land especially in rural areas. 

Keywords: gender equality, access to land, land ownership, land tenure, Tanzania

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender Roles, Men, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2020

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