Protecting the Land Rights of Women through an Inclusive Land Registration System: The Case of Ethiopia


Belay, Abebaw Abebe and Tigistu G/meskel Abza. 2020. “Protecting the Land Rights of Women through an Inclusive Land Registration System: The Case of Ethiopia.” African Journal of Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences 3 (1): 29-40.

Authors: Abebaw Abebe Belay, Tigistu G/meskel Abza


Land is owned by the state and peoples of Ethiopia. Rural farmers and pastoralists have landholding right which contains bundle of rights. Women have equal right to fully use their landholding. Ethiopia has implemented a first level land certification (FLLC). Despite the achievements of the FLLC, gaps were identified especially as regards to local participation throughout the certification process. Ethiopia is currently implementing Second Level Land Certification (SLLC). 15 million parcels have been registered, of which about 80 % are owned by women either privately or jointly with their husbands. This SLLC is implemented in a participatory way. The main objective of this paper is to assess the equity and inclusiveness of the land titling program of Ethiopia in protecting the land rights of women. It is found that the legal frameworks are inclusive for Women, sometimes contain affirmative provisions; the land registration program is inclusive containing procedures for the protection of land rights of women; free legal aid services are being provided for women for their land right protection and there are positions and institutions (Social Development Officers; Women Land Right Task Force and Good Governance Task Team) exclusively responsible for the protection of the rights of women; which are vital for the sustainability of the system. But still there are gaps on legal frameworks; the existence of gender negative customary systems; weak institutional arrangement; registration of land which is under polygamous union; getting certificate does not mean that women have control power over their land. Based on this findings the research recommends for making the process of land registration and titling inclusive; assigning Social Development Officers in the land administration system; conducting repeated follow up after women receive their certificates; and revising legal gaps.

Keywords: inclusiveness, women, registration and certification

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2020

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