Gender Implications of Decentralised Land Reform: The Case of Zimbabwe


Manjengwa, Jeanette, and Phides Mazhawidza. 2009. Gender Implications of Decentralised Land Reform: The Case of Zimbabwe. 30. Bellville, South Africa: PLAAS Institute for Poverty, Land and Agriarian Studies.

Authors: Jeanette Manjengwa, Phides Mazhawidza


A bolder policy approach and more vigorous implementation are needed to support women’s empowerment, transfer of land rights to women, and to ensure their productive utilisation of land. The land reform programme focussed on racial imbalances of highly skewed land holdings and discriminatory land tenure systems while failing to mainstream the interests of women.



“Land was arguably the single most important reason leading to Zimbabwe’s liberation war and at Independence in 1980, expectations of land reform were high.” (1)

“An estimated 86% of those who work the land are women, and land is a major source of women’s livelihood strategies and food security. Yet, the current Fast Track Land Reform Programme continues to privilege men as primary recipients of resettlement land, and the involvement of traditional authorities in the land reform process continues to marginalise women (Goebel, 2005).” (1)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Land Tenure, Race, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2009

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