Gender Levees: Rethinking Women’s Land Rights in Northeastern Honduras


Casolo, Jennifer. 2009. “Gender Levees: Rethinking Women’s Land Rights in Northeastern Honduras.” Journal of Agrarian Change 9 (3): 392–420. 

Author: Jennifer Casolo


In the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, one woman’s impassioned speech linking women’s exclusion from land rights with the failings of Honduras’ state-led agrarian reform and counter-reform gathered gale force, simultaneously weakening particular levees of gender-bias while constructing others. Post-Hurricane Mitch organizational practices and reconstruction policies in Northeastern Honduras afforded women access to joint property titles and participation.Yet the practices and processes through which women gained new rights reproduced certain exclusionary gender structures and created new barriers to women’s participation. These contradictory consequences speak to recent feminist assessments of women’s land rights under neo-liberal land titling programmes and a resurgence of policies addressing agrarian reform, and reveal the broader stakes of struggles for women’s land rights. In so doing, they underline the importance of attending to spatial connections and historical articulations between the present and the past, and thus the past and the future.

Keywords: gender, land rights, agrarian reform, disaster, Honduras

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Honduras

Year: 2009

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