Land Grab, Property Rights and Gender Equality in Pluralistic Legal Orders: A Nigerian Perspective


 Nwapi, Chilenye. 2016. “Land Grab, Property Rights and Gender Equality in Pluralistic Legal Orders: A Nigerian Perspective.” African Journal of Legal Studies 9 (2): 124–46.

Author: Chilenye Nwapi


This article considers the impact of land grab on the promotion of gender inequality within the Nigerian pluralistic legal order. It examines the interface between customary law and statute law in the determination of land ownership and access in Nigeria. It makes two key arguments. (1) While legal pluralism presents opportunities for curtailing the excesses of customary law, it has often resulted in the dominant legal system – statute law – fostering gender inequality in a manner that is beyond the capacity of the so-called barbaric customary laws. (2) The capacity of law to effectively address the problem of gender inequality within the context of land grab is very limited, because the nature of most land grab-related activities that promote gender inequality are appropriately legal and it is their unintended consequences that undermine women’s rights. The article argues for an effective use of the political process to complement legal interventions.

Keywords: land grab, customary law, statute law, legal pluralism, gender inequality, Property Rights

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Justice, Land Grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2016

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