Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

East Africa

'Today, I Want to Speak Out the Truth': Victim Agency, Responsibility, and Transitional Justice

Citation:

Baines, Erin K. 2015. “‘Today, I Want to Speak Out the Truth’: Victim Agency, Responsibility, and Transitional Justice.” International Political Sociology 9 (4): 316–32.
 

Author: Erin K. Baines

Abstract:

In this article, I am concerned with the political agency available to victims of wartime violence, and the subsequent insights it generates for thinking about complicity and responsibility. The article first considers the problematic ways in which victims are cast in the discipline of transitional justice, drawing on interdisciplinary studies of gender, agency, and wartime violence. I conceptualize the political as relational and situated within a web of human relationships that make life meaningful. Political agency includes acts, gestures, and words that negotiate the value of human life within various relationships. To illustrate, I turn to the life story of Sara, a young woman who grew up in the context of prolonged conflict in northern Uganda. I conclude with thinking about how Sara’s acts of political agency move us beyond static categories of victims in transitional justice, and conceive of responsibility as diffuse and socially held.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2015

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

Prelude to a Grid: Energy, Gender and Labour on an Electric Frontier

Citation:

Phillips, Kristin D. 2020. "Prelude to a Grid: Energy, Gender and Labour on an Electric Frontier." The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology 38 (2): 71-87.

Author: Kristin D. Phillips

Abstract:

People in the Singida region of Tanzania have long utilized diverse energy sources for subsistence. The wind separates grain from chaff. The sun ripens the millet and dries it for storage. More recently, solar panels charge phones and rural electricity investments extend the national grid. Yet as an electric frontier, Singida remains only peripherally and selectively served by energy infrastructures and fossil fuels. This article sketches Singidans’ prospect from this space and time of energy transition. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted between 2004 and 2019, it asks: how do rural Singidans eke energy from their natural and social environment? How can ideas of the sun and of labour in Nyaturu cosmology inform understandings of energy? And how are new energy technologies reshaping Singida’s social and economic landscape? I theorize energy as a deeply relational and gendered configuration of people, nature, labour and sociality that makes and sustains human and natural life.

Keywords: Africa, electricity, energy, gender, nature, labour, solar, tanzania

Topics: Environment, Gender, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2020

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

Gender in Electricity Policymaking in India, Nepal and Kenya

Citation:

Govindan, Mini, Debajit Palit, Rashmi Murali, and Deepa Sankar. 2019. “Gender in Electricity Policymaking in India, Nepal and Kenya.” In Energy Justice Across Borders, edited by Gunter Bombaerts, Kirsten Jenkins, Yekeen A. Sanusi, and Wang Guoyu, 111-35. Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Authors: Mini Govindan, Debajit Palit, Rashmi Murali, Deepa Sankar

Abstract:

Electricity is regarded as a basic amenity fundamental to improving human well-being and overall economic development. It also contributes to improving gender parity and social inclusion, especially in situations where women are challenged by harsh living conditions. This chapter examines how gender issues that were considered are addressed in the policies related to electricity in India, Kenya, and Nepal. The analysis reveals that whilst more than half of the reviewed documents were devoid of any explicit mention of gender concerns, an increasing number of electricity policies are now reflecting gender considerations. The predominantly “gender-blind” approach towards the potential benefits of electricity access emanates from a reluctance to explicitly acknowledge gender based differences in needs in creating equitable outcomes. The assumption that electricity access itself is enough for associated benefits to trickle down, that too equitably for men and women, stems from limited awareness. This is aggravated further by the absence of documented evidence on the merit of including gender elements in electrification policies and programmes. Based on the review of existing electricity policies, this chapter provides specific recommendations for incorporating gender in the electricity policies with a view to support and address the broader energy justice concerns. 

Keywords: electricity, gender, women, policies, energy justice, India, Nepal, Kenya

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Justice Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Kenya, Nepal

Year: 2019

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

The Struggles for Land Rights by Rural Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Tanzania

Citation:

Massay, Godfrey. 2019. "The Struggles for Land Rights by Rural Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Tanzania." African Journal of Economic and Management Studies 11 (2): 271-283.

Author: Godfrey Massay

Abstract:

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide examples of how rural women in Tanzania have addressed land rights challenges, showcasing three interventions implemented by Tanzanian Civil Society Organizations. It demonstrates that women have used both legal and traditional systems to negotiate and mediate their claims to land. Although the interventions featured have been greatly shaped by the work of civil society organizations, they have equally been influenced by rural women movements and individual rural women. The cases selected provide understanding of women’s land rights issues in both privately and communally held property/land.
 
Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents literature review of the existing secondary data on the subject coupled with the interviews.
 
Findings: Informal and formal approaches have been used by rural women to negotiate their claims on both communal and private lands. CSOs have equally shaped the approaches employed by rural women.
 
Research limitations/implications: This research was mainly based on the secondary data and few key interviews. There is a need to conduct further analysis of the issues.
 
Practical implications: This paper highlights the role of CSOs in improving the participation of women in decision-making bodies. The wave of large-scale land-based investments has caused insecurity of land tenure for women. The paper shows some ways to address the problem in communal lands.
 
Social implications: Socially, the papers shows the power relations involved in the struggles over land, as well as the role of traditional systems and bylaws in protecting the rights of women.
 
Originality/value: The paper provides dynamics of gendered approach used by women to negotiate their claims in communally held lands. It also highlights the role and space of local and international CSOs in shaping the local context of resistance on land rights. It is a very useful paper for academics and practitioners working on land rights.

Keywords: land, rural women, land rights, civil society organizations, communal land, struggle

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2019

Empowering Women Through Land Rights: Connecting Economic Empowerment, Control Over Assets, and Sexual Negotiation Within Kisumu County, Kenya

Citation:

Shaffer, Madison. 2019. “Empowering Women Through Land Rights: Connecting Economic Empowerment, Control Over Assets, and Sexual Negotiation Within Kisumu County, Kenya.” Paper presented at APHA's 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo, Burlington, VT, November 2-6.

Author: Madison Shaffer

Abstract:

This project aims to gain a greater understanding of the current state of women’s land rights in Kisumu County, Kenya. It will discuss how current interventions are impacting women’s empowerment and their ability to negotiate safe sex. Property rights can provide women with a secure place to live, a place of economic activity and reduces dependence on men. Property ownership can also serve to empower women and “give them greater bargaining power at the household, individual, and community level...increasing agency” (Dworkin,2009). Unfortunately, men have almost always been favored in land rights in traditional land allocation and in customary law. In 2010, Kenya’s new constitution, article 60, eliminates gender discrimination in law, customs, and practices related to land. Since this, little research has evaluated the relationship between land rights and female empowerment in a Kenyan context. Through the Kenya Demographic Health survey data I was able to formulate semi-constructed interviews, and a questionnaire to analyze the impact land rights has on women’s empowerment. Empowerment was measured on a 0-1 scale based off a set of indicators drawn from the World Bank (Malhotra et al., 2002). Regardless of the clear legal standards now in place, gender-biased public attitude and limited utilization of legal services still lead to women systematically being denied their rights to land. This project utilizes Fundamental Cause Theory to describe how interventions that involve the community through legal training and education on human rights can help support women’s land claims and lead to empowering women in their own sexual, and nonsexual, health going forward.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Reproductive Health, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2019

A Stronger Voice for Women in Local Land Governance: Effective Approaches in Tanzania, Ghana and Senegal

Citation:

Sutz, Philippine, Amaelle Seigneret, Mary Richard, Patricia Blankson Akapko, Fati Alhassan, and Mamadou Fall. 2019. A Stronger Voice for Women in Local Land Governance: Effective Approaches in Tanzania, Ghana and Senegal. London: International Institute for Environment and Development. 

 

Authors: Philippine Sutz, Amaelle Seigneret, Mary Richard, Patricia Blankson Akapko, Fati Alhassan, Mamadou Fall

Abstract:

Pressures on land have been on the rise over the past two decades across subSaharan Africa, notably due to increasing commercial interests fuelled by global demand for agricultural commodities. In Tanzania, Ghana and Senegal, such pressures have exacerbated tenure insecurity for rural populations and resulted in numerous cases of dispossession and displacement.

In many cases, rural livelihoods are being undermined: increased competition and reduced access to land impact communities’ economic development, sometimes threatening food security, and bear significant impacts on wellbeing and sociocultural identities. Communities with fragile and exclusionary governance structures are more likely to lose out. Although important progress has been made in terms of legal empowerment – including women’s empowerment –, local land governance systems across the three countries studied remain weak and gender-discriminatory.

Vulnerable members – in particular women – often hold little to no control over land and are significantly under-represented in decision-making processes, although situations can vary across areas. As a result, they tend to be more severely affected by the impacts of commercial pressures on land.

This highlights a need to address exclusion and gender-discrimination in local level governance structures. The rationale underlining this idea is that increasing social cohesion and making decision-making arrangements more participative and gender-equitable will strengthen a community’s capacity to collectively discuss and deliberate on land-related matters.

This report focuses on initiatives that have been taking place in Tanzania, Ghana and Senegal since 2016, and that aim to reinforce governance structures to make them inclusive and gender-inclusive in response to the challenges aforementioned. The approaches they developed aim to support women in entering the political space and participate meaningfully in land governance. In Tanzania, where village authorities play a key role in local land governance, the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) has been working with village councils across several districts to support the adoption of gender-sensitive village bylaws promoting more inclusive and participative land governance.

In Ghana, the Network for Women’s Rights (NETRIGHT) and the Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation (GSF) have overseen the establishment of local, gender sensitive governance committees in nine communities. These advise traditional authorities in land-related decision-making processes, reflecting a local context where customs play a key role in land management.

In Senegal where customary land tenure has been abolished and land management has been devolved to the municipal level, Innovation Environnement Développement en Afrique (IED Afrique) has piloted the reform of a local government body responsible for land management. The aim is to promote the inclusion and participation of women and the adoption of a local land charter.

The report presents each initiative and associated outcomes and lessons, and then reflects on their broader implications for the future of work on gender and land rights.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania

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

Pages

© 2020 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - East Africa