Securing Women’s Interests within Land Tenure Reforms: Recent Debates in Tanzania


Tsikata, Dzodzi. 2003. “Securing Women’s Interests within Land Tenure Reforms: Recent Debates in Tanzania.” Journal of Agrarian Change 3 (1-2): 149-83.

Author: Dzodzi Tsikata


This article is an account of the debates around the recent land tenure reforms in Tanzania. It focuses on the discourses of Government officials, academic researchers and NGO activists on the implications of the reforms for women's interests in land and the most fruitful approaches to the issues of discriminatory customary law rules and male–dominated land management and adjudication institutions at national and village levels. The article argues that from being marginal to the debates, women's interests became one of the most contentious issues, showing up divisions within NGO ranks and generating accusations of State co–optation and class bias. It illustrates the implications of the recent positive reappraisal of African customary laws and local–level land management institutions for a specific national context, that of Tanzania.

Keywords: land reform, women, customary law

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Land Tenure, Governance, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2003

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