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Central Africa

Women’s Land Rights in Africa: Does Implementation Match Policy?

Citation:

Sulle, Emmanuel, Sue Mbaya, Barbara Codispoti, Josephine Atananga, Bernard Moseti, and Leah Mugehera. 2019. “Women’s Land Rights in Africa: Does Implementation Match Policy?” Paper presented at Conference on Land Policy in Africa, 2019: Winning the fight against Corruption in the Land Sector: Sustainable Pathway for Africa’s Transformation, Abidjan, November 25-29.

Authors: Emmanuel Sulle, Sue Mbaya, Barbara Codispoti, Josephine Atananga, Bernard Moseti, Leah Mugehera

Abstract:

This paper assesses the performance of selected countries in implementing the provisions of women’s land rights instruments such as African Union Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa and the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure among others. Field research was carried out in seven African countries whereby, in each country a national researcher in collaboration with the collaborating nongovernmental organisation selected three heterogeneous locations which capture the range of situations under which rural women use land. Based on field research results complemented with desk review, the study finds that while statutory laws to protect women land rights are in place in all studied countries, with some differences and, in some cases with existing loopholes, adherence to these laws at the community level remain inadequate. This is particularly evident in terms of equality of rights to inherit land among men and women. Women experience constant threat from clansmen and relatives of their husbands. As also documented elsewhere, in many African communities (although not all), most land-holding systems are male lineage based, with men playing an important decision-making role. Malawi represents a specific case in this regard, as most land-holdings are based on matrilineal systems, but this still is not an automatic guarantee of women having more decision-making power on land. Based on these findings the paper confirms that while impressive steps to address women’s land rights issues have been taken in recent African policies, law enforceability is yet to receive sufficient political backing, due to widespread patriarchal values, limited financial and human resources and last but not least informal rules of the games that are the same drivers of widespread corruption. Patronage, ‘clientage’, illegality and opacity of land transactions find fertile ground in a patriarchal system. Understanding the status, causes and consequences of the de facto ‘unenforceability’ of constitutional and legal provisions in favour of women might shed a light on much broader challenges like those addressed in this conference. Holistic implementation and reforms that 1) address existing loopholes in land laws and regulation, 2) align other sectoral policies, laws and regulations, and 3) use transformative actions to revert patriarchal values in order to bridge the gender gap in property rights, but also to help creating a fairer environment to contribute combating corruption.

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Land Tenure, Governance, Constitutions, NGOs, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Togo

Year: 2019

Competition and Gender in the Lab vs Field: Experiments from Off-Grid Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs in Rural Rwanda

Citation:

Klege, Rebecca A., and Martine Visser. 2020. “Competition and Gender in the Lab vs Field: Experiments from Off-Grid Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs in Rural Rwanda.” ERSA Working Paper 806, Economic Research Southern Africa, University of Cape Town.

Authors: Rebecca A. Klege, Martine Visser

Abstract:

Applications of lab experiments to real-world phenomenon are limited. We fill the gap by examining how gender attitudes and performance under competitive situations in the lab, reflects microenterprise outcomes in the renewable energy sector of Rwanda. — a country with progressive gender policies despite its traditional patriarchal set-up. We use the standard Niederle and Vesterlund (2007) experimental design in addition to a unique dataset from off-grid microenterprises, managed by entrepreneurs who have been working in mixed and single-sex teams since 2016. Our findings show that the gender composition of teams does not affect decisions to compete in the lab. Instead returns to education and risk-taking are more valuable to single-sex teams than for mixed gender teams. We also show that under competitive situations, women perform as well as men. Findings from the field strongly support findings in the lab that female-owned enterprises do not underperform in competitive settings, which corroborates the external validity of our lab results. Given that lab and field findings suggest no significant differentials in terms of competitiveness or performance of females, there exist ample scope to increase women involvement in the renewable energy sector of Rwanda. 

Keywords: competition, gender differences, entrepreneurs, performance, renewable energy

Topics: Economies, Education, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2020

Gendered Land Rights, Legal Reform and Social Norms in the Context of Land Fragmentation - a Review of the Literature for Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda

Citation:

Andersson Djurfeldt, Agnes. 2020. “Gendered Land Rights, Legal Reform and Social Norms in the Context of Land Fragmentation - A Review of the Literature for Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.” Land Use Policy 90: 1–10.

Author: Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt

Keywords: land tenure, land rights, Sub-Saharan Africa, gender, social norms, legal pluralism, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda

Annotation:

Summary:
“Recently, concerns have been voiced regarding the rapid increases in rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa and their consequences for rural livelihoods and food security (Headey and Jayne, 2014; Jayne et al., 2014) as pressure on land increases in already land-constrained countries. Generally speaking, the literature shows a number of parallel tendencies as demand for land increases: the marginalization of weaker groups’ claims to land and a growing push towards individualized tenure arrangements. While intersectional aspects related to marriage, age, ethnicity and migrant status must be born in mind, from a gender perspective, women in sub-Saharan Africa have historically been discriminated against in property rights systems that either view women as property or severely curtail their property rights by assigning them rights to land through adult males, such as husbands, fathers or sons (Joireman, 2008). Such discrimination would be expected to be accentuated by growing demand for land, as the property rights of adult males take precedence over those of women.
 
While contemporary processes of population growth and commodification of land more generally are expressed in dwindling farm sizes in a number of African countries such tendencies should also be situated in relation to increasing policy experimentation with privatized land rights more generally, either on individual or communal basis. Here, the literature suggests that formalization of land rights may enshrine gender-based discrimination through formalizing the customary land rights of male right holders. Simultaneously, however, legal reforms in several countries, at least ostensibly, have attempted to improve land rights for women.
 
The aim of this article is to review the literature on women’s rights to land in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda against this broader backdrop of fragmentation, commodification, individualization of land rights and legal reform. The review explores a set of research questions, which take their point of departure from the hypothesized links between gender-based discrimination and the parallel processes of land fragmentation and privatization, but also explores the country level empirics of such discrimination in the context of recent legal reforms. The following questions underpin the analysis
 
- Does gender-based discrimination exist in the land tenure systems and land use practices found in these countries?
 
- If so, what role do formal and informal legal mechanisms and social norms, respectively, play in upholding this discrimination?
 
- How do growing demand for land and privatization of tenure affect rural livelihoods from a gender perspective?
 
A sizeable literature exists with respect to the first two questions, and most attention will therefore be paid to these. While the literature on livelihood changes is limited, contrasting theoretical perspectives highlight the link between privatized tenure and livelihood outcomes (whether positive or negative). As such the inclusion of this question is warranted despite the relative lack of literature on the topic.
 
The article begins by describing the methodology including the selection of countries and sources used. This is followed by a description of gendered patterns of land control and ownership. A theoretical section follows, outlining theories related to land rights and privatization and individualization of tenure and the presumed linkages between redressing gender discrimination in land rights and positive outcomes such as raising productivity and improving child welfare. A descriptive section introduces the tenure systems, land legislation and the current situation of women’s access to land in each country, tracing the inequities and discrimination that are present in the contemporary tenure, market, and inheritance systems for land. Following this descriptive section, I synthesize the findings for the countries overall, identifying the formal and informal mechanisms through which discriminating practices are perpetuated and if and how they have been affected by recent legal reform efforts and changes in land policy. Finally, I discuss the gender consequences of these developments for rural livelihoods” (Andersson Djurfeldt 1-2).

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda

Year: 2020

Land Rights and Economic Resilience of Rural Women in the G5-Sahel Countries, West Africa

Citation:

Bizoza, Alfred Runezerwa. 2019. “Land Rights and Economic Resilience of Rural Women in the G5-Sahel Countries, West Africa.” African Journal of Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences 2: 46–59.

Author: Alfred Runezerwa Bizoza

Abstract:

This article discusses different issues pertaining gender and land governance with focus to access and control of land by rural women and how this affects their resilience in G5-Sahel region- Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Mauritania. Findings show that land remains the property of men, customary chiefs, male members of the family who have the full control of land use; women continue to serve as servants of their husbands in the farming activities. Limited access to production resources such as land, agricultural inputs, small scale irrigation and agricultural mechanization, and lack of post-harvest handling facilities; all restrain women’s economic capacity for their economic resilience to climate change and other natural disasters. There is need, therefore, for innovative models of land tenure regularization systems in the G5-Sahel countries; models that take into account current social, cultural and religious barriers for women’s land access and use for their economic activities.

Keywords: land rights, gender, economic resilience, G5-Sahel, West Africa

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Land Tenure, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

Year: 2019

Effects of Women Land Rights on Agricultural Outcomes in Rwanda

Citation:

Kamande, Mercyline W, and Emery Musonerwa Bahati. 2019. “Effects of Women Land Rights on Agricultural Outcomes in Rwanda.” African Journal of Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences 2 (11). 

Authors: Mercyline W. Kamande, Emery Musonerwa Bahati

Abstract:

This study examines the effect of land rights on agricultural outcomes in Rwanda. We characterize the effects of land rights from two perspectives. The first one is land rights indicated by the right to sell and guarantee land and the second one is land titling. The agricultural outcomes include agricultural productivity, food security and nutritional diversity. From the results, land rights are found to have a positive relationship with all the outcome variables. The effect of land rights on agricultural productivity is larger if the household head is male. Joint titling has a negative effect on food security but the effect is not conclusive in the case of agricultural productivity and nutritional diversity. We conclude that land rights are important for the three outcome variables. Women land rights have a positive effect on agricultural productivity although the effect is larger in the case of male land rights.

Keywords: land rights, food security, nutritional diversity, Agricultural productivity

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Households, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2019

Social and Economic Development of Rural Women in Uganda Using Solar Energy for Productive Use

Citation:

LaBiche, Monica, and Sherina Munyana. 2017. “Social and Economic Development of Rural Women in Uganda Using Solar Energy for Productive Use.” Paper presented at 2017 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, San Jose, CA, October 19-22.

Authors: Monica LaBiche, Sherina Munyana

Abstract:

Agriculture is the backbone of African economies, especially in rural areas where over 70% of people rely on subsistence farming for their livelihood. In Rwanda and Uganda, where Africa Development Promise (ADP) works, 90% of economically active women work in the agricultural sector. Overall women work more and longer hours compared to men because of additional household responsibilities such as preparing food, collecting fuelwood and water. This time deficit leaves no time for education or productive endeavors. The paper argues that access to new technologies that save time, especially tedious and laborious work, can have a significant positive impact on women’s efficiency, productivity and income-generating potential. It shares ADP’s shift from a single-entry economic development approach to a holistic approach that incorporates access to solar energy to support women’s economic endeavors. The paper is shared with organizations addressing similar challenges, but more importantly to seek feedback from development practitioners.

Topics: Agriculture, Education, Gender, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda, Uganda

Year: 2017

A Political Ecology of Women, Water and Global Environmental Change

Citation:

Buechler, Stephanie, and Anne-Marie S. Hanson, eds. 2015. A Political Ecology of Women, Water and Global Environmental Change. New York: Routledge.

Authors: Stephanie Buechler, ed. , Anne-Marie S. Hanson, ed.

Annotation:

Summary:
This edited volume explores how a feminist political ecology framework can bring fresh insights to the study of rural and urban livelihoods dependent on vulnerable rivers, lakes, watersheds, wetlands and coastal environments. Bringing together political ecologists and feminist scholars from multiple disciplines, the book develops solution-oriented advances to theory, policy and planning to tackle the complexity of these global environmental changes. Using applied research on the contemporary management of groundwater, springs, rivers, lakes, watersheds and coastal wetlands in Central and South Asia, Northern, Central and Southern Africa, and South and North America, the authors draw on a variety of methodological perspectives and new theoretical approaches to demonstrate the importance of considering multiple layers of social difference as produced by and central to the effective governance and local management of water resources. This unique collection employs a unifying feminist political ecology framework that emphasizes the ways that gender interacts with other social and geographical locations of water resource users. In doing so, the book further questions the normative gender discourses that underlie policies and practices surrounding rural and urban water management and climate change, water pollution, large-scale development and dams, water for crop and livestock production and processing, resource knowledge and expertise, and critical livelihood studies. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of environmental studies, development studies, feminist and environmental geography, anthropology, sociology, environmental philosophy, public policy, planning, media studies, Latin American and other area studies, as well as women’s and gender studies. (Summary from Routledge)
 
Table of Contents: 
1. Introduction: Towards a Feminist Political Ecology of Women, Global Change and Vulnerable Waterscapes

Anne-Marie Hanson and Stephanie Buechler

2. Interrogating Large-Scale Development and Inequality in Lesotho: Bridging Feminist Political Ecology, Intersectionality and Environmental Justice Frameworks
Yvonne Braun

3. The Silent (and Gendered) Violence: Understanding Water Access in Mining Areas
Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

4. Urban Water Visibility in Los Angeles: Legibility and Access for All
Kathleen Kambic

5. Advances and Setbacks in Women’s Participation in Water Management in Brazil
Andrea Moraes

6. Climate-Water Challenges and Gendered Adaptation Strategies in Rayon, a Riparian Community in Sonora, Mexico
Stephanie Buechler

7. International Partnerships of Women for Sustainable Watershed Governance in Times of Climate Change
Patricia E. (Ellie) Perkins and Patricia Figuieredo Walker

8. Women’s Contributions to Climate Change Adaptation in Egypt’s Mubarak Resettlement Scheme through Cactus Cultivation and Adjusted Irrigation
Dina Najjar

9. Shoes in the Seaweed and Bottles on the Beach: Global Garbage and Women’s Oral Histories of Socio-Environmental Change in Coastal Yucatán
Anne-Marie Hanson

10. Heen Kas’ el’ti Zoo: Among the Ragged Lakes – Storytelling and Collaborative Water Research with Carcoss/Tagish First Nation (Yukon Territory, Canada)
Eleanor Hayman with Mark Wedge and Colleen James

11. Pamiri Women and the Melting Glaciers of Tajikistan: A Visual Knowledge Exchange for Improved Environmental Governance
Citt Williams and Ivan Golovnev

12. Conclusion: Advancing Disciplinary Scholarship on Gender, Water and Environmental Change through Feminist Political Ecology
Stephanie Buechler, Anne-Marie Hanson, Diana Liverman and Miriam Gay-Antaki

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Intersectionality, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Lesotho, Mexico

Year: 2015

Land Grabbing: A Gendered Understanding of Perceptions and Reactions from Affected Communities in Nguti Subdivision of South West Cameroon

Citation:

Ndi, Frankline A. 2019. “Land Grabbing: A Gendered Understanding of Perceptions and Reactions from Affected Communities in Nguti Subdivision of South West Cameroon.” Development Policy Review 37 (3): 348–66.

Author: Frankline A. Ndi

Abstract:

This article examines the political economic processes and gendered consequences involved in large‐scale land acquisition (LSLA ) in rural South West Cameroon. The study adopts a gender‐disaggregated approach to data collection to understand local perceptions and reactions to LSLA in the region. It shows how traditional cultural prescriptions have combined with contemporary land laws to masculinize power over land to the detriment of women. It argues that although men and women are both affected by LSLA projects, the impacts are much greater for women because what the state considers “empty land” is used by them to secure household food security. Second, it argues that amid societal discrimination over land‐ownership rights, perceived gender differences between men and women appear “rational” in the event of LSLA —men follow their ascribed roles in overt reactions, women being more covert and much less vocal in land‐related contests. New policies that promote rural women's land rights will not only empower them during land struggles, they will also provide communities with greater security to sustain ecologically viable livelihoods.

Keywords: Cameroon, feminist political ecology, gender perceptions and reactions, land grabbing, large-scale land acquisition, rural livelihoods

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Land grabbing, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2019

Health Services for Women, Children and Adolescents in Conflict Affected Settings: Experience from North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

Citation:

Altare, Chiara, Espoir Bwenge Malembaka, Maphie Tosha, Christopher Hook, Hamady Ba, Stéphane Muzindusi Bikoro, Thea Scognamiglio, Hannah Tappis, Jerome Pfaffmann, Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka, Ties Boerma, and Paul Spiegel. 2020. "Health Services for Women, Children and Adolescents in Conflict Affected Settings: Experience from North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo." Conflict and Health 14.

Authors: Chiara Altare, Espoir Bwenge Malembaka, Maphie Tosha, Christopher Hook, Hamady Ba, Stéphane Muzindusi Bikoro, Thea Scognamiglio, Hannah Tappis, Jerome Pfaffmann, Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka, Ties Boerma, Paul Spiegel

Abstract:

Background: Insecurity has characterized the Eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo for decades. Providing health services to sustain women’s and children’s health during protracted conflict is challenging. This mixed-methods case study aimed to describe how reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescent health and nutrition (RMNCAH+N) services have been offered in North and South Kivu since 2000 and how successful they were. 
 
Methods: We conducted a case study using a desk review of publicly available literature, secondary analysis of survey and health information system data, and primary qualitative interviews. The qualitative component provides insights on factors shaping RMNCAH+N design and implementation. We conducted 49 interviews with government officials, humanitarian agency staff and facility-based healthcare providers, and focus group discussions with community health workers in four health zones (Minova, Walungu, Ruanguba, Mweso). We applied framework analysis to investigate key themes across informants. The quantitative component used secondary data from nationwide surveys and the national health facility information system to estimate coverage of RMNCAH+N interventions at provincial and sub-provincial level. The association between insecurity on service provision was examined with random effects generalized least square models using health facility data from South Kivu. 
 
Results: Coverage of selected preventive RMNCAH+N interventions seems high in North and South Kivu, often higher than the national level. Health facility data show a small negative association of insecurity and preventive service coverage within provinces. However, health outcomes are poorer in conflict-affected territories than in stable ones. The main challenges to service provisions identified by study respondents are the availability and retention of skilled personnel, the lack of basic materials and equipment as well as the insufficient financial resources to ensure health workers’ regular payment, medicaments’ availability and facilities’ running costs. Insecurity exacerbates pre-existing challenges, but do not seem to represent the main barrier to service provision in North and South Kivu. 
 
Conclusions: Provision of preventive schedulable RMNCAH+N services has continued during intermittent conflict in North and South Kivu. The prolonged effort by non-governmental organizations and UN agencies to respond to humanitarian needs was likely key in maintaining intervention coverage despite conflict. Health actors and communities appear to have adapted to changing levels and nature of insecurity and developed strategies to ensure preventive services are provided and accessed. However, emergency non-schedulable RMNCAH+N interventions do not appear to be readily accessible. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require increased access to life-saving interventions, especially for newborn and pregnant women.

Keywords: health services, health system, conflict, population displacement, North Kivu, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, maternal, newborn, child, reproductive health

Topics: Age, Youth, Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Health, Reproductive Health, International Organizations, NGOs, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2020

Mainstreaming Gender in the Process of Large-Scale Land Acquisitions for Agro-Investment in Cameroon

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart. 2019. “Mainstreaming Gender in the Process of Large-Scale Land Acquisitions for Agro-Investment in Cameroon.” In Natural Resource Endowment and the Fallacy of Development in Cameroon, 215-42. Mankon, Bamenda: Langaa RPCIG.

Author: Lotsmart Fonjong

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Land grabbing Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2019

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