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Governance

Revisiting the World Bank’s Land Law Reform Agenda in Africa: The Promise and Perils of Customary Practices

Citation:

Collins, Andrea, and Matthew I. Mitchell. 2018. “Revisiting the World Bank’s Land Law Reform Agenda in Africa: The Promise and Perils of Customary Practices.” Journal of Agrarian Change 18 (1): 112–31.

Authors: Andrea Collins, Matthew I. Mitchell

Abstract:

This paper revisits the World Bank's land law reform agenda in Africa by focusing on two central issues: (1) land law reform as a tool for resolving land conflicts, and (2) the role of land law reform in addressing gender inequalities. While the Bank's recent land report provides insights for improving land governance in Africa, it fails to acknowledge the exploitative and contentious politics that often characterize customary land tenure systems, and the local power dynamics that undermine the ability of marginalized groups to secure land rights. Using insights from recent fieldwork, the paper analyses the links between land law reform and conflict in Ghana, and the gendered dynamics of reforming land governance in Tanzania. These “crucial cases” illustrate how land law reform can provoke conflicts over land and threaten the rights of vulnerable populations (e.g. migrants and women) when customary practices are uncritically endorsed as a means of improving land governance. As such, the paper concludes with a series of recommendations on how to navigate the promise and perils of customary practices in the governance of land.

Keywords: africa, customary practices, Ghana, land law reform, tanzania, World Bank

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Conflict, Governance, International Financial Institutions, International Organizations, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Tanzania

Year: 2018

From Male to Joint Land Ownership: Women's Experiences of the Land Tenure Reform Programme in Rwanda

Citation:

Bayisenge, Jeannette. 2018. "From Male to Joint Land Ownership: Women's Experiences of the Land Tenure Reform Programme in Rwanda." Journal of Agrarian Change 18 (3): 588-605.

Author: Jeannette Bayisenge

Abstract:

During the post‐genocide period, the Government of Rwanda embarked on a land tenure reform programme that culminated in a land registration and titling process in 2009. This paper intends to capture women's experiences in relation to this programme. The empirical data were collected in Musanze District using a household survey, semi‐structured interviews, and focus group discussions. The main findings reveal that there is support of the general idea that women should benefit from the land tenure reform in Rwanda. However, there is some criticism towards parts of the land laws, and women have limited actual knowledge about land‐related laws. With land titles, women mostly have a say on the land use decisions requiring each of the spounses' legal consents but not on the daily management of land and its produce. Finally, the paper reports the persistence of social norms and culturally biased gender ideologies affecting the effective implementation of land‐related laws and policies. Therefore, the paper underscores the need to build the implementation of new laws and policies on a good understanding of customary practices to strengthen women's land rights in Rwanda.

Keywords: land rights, land tenure reform, Rwanda, women's experiences

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2018

Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda

Citation:

Adoko, Judy, and Simon Levine. 2008. "Falling Between Two Stools: How Women’s Land Rights are Lost between State and Customary Law in Apac District, Northern Uganda." In Women's Land Rights and Privatization in Eastern Africa, edited by Birgit Englert and Elizabeth Daley, 101-20. Woodbridge, Suffolk; Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, James Currey. 

Authors: Judy Adoko, Simon Levine

Annotation:

Summary: 
"As in other countries in Africa, there are two parallel and competing histories of land tenure in Uganda. The indigenous systems evolved to suit the needs of different local groups, or at least certain elite members in those groups, in a variety of different ecological and economic circumstances. They worked on rules which have never been written down, making it easy for outsiders to consider all these systems as ‘customary tenure’ a single, unchanging system of rules and administration. Another, written, history began with British colonialism. The British introduced a system of freehold title under which client chiefs and kingdoms (as well as missions) were granted formal land rights. All land which was not registered was considered by the British to be ‘crown land’. Although customary tenure continued to operate on this land, the customary owners had little protection from the arbitrary expropriation of their property. The British colonial administrators regarded customary ownership as backward and a constraint to economic development, which by the 1950s they intended to replace with the ‘modern’ system of freehold. However, colonialism ended before this could be implemented" (Adoko and Levine 2008, 101). 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2008

Feminism in Foreign Policy

Citation:

Williams, Kristen P. 2017. "Feminism in Foreign Policy." Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. https://oxfordre.com/politics/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228637-e-368. 

Author: Kristen P. Williams

Keywords: women, gender, gender gap, foreign policy, feminism, legislatures, executives, representation, intersectionality

Annotation:

Summary: 
The traditional/mainstream international relations (IR) study of foreign policy has primarily focused on state behavior in the international system, examining factors such as the influence of decision-makers’ attitudes and beliefs, regime type, domestic political actors, civil society, norms, culture, and so forth on foreign policy. Much of this research has neglected to address women and gender in the context of studying foreign policy actors, decisions, and outcomes. Given that women are increasingly gaining access to the political process in terms of both formal government positions and informal political activism, and recognition by the international community of women’s roles in peace and war, feminist international relations (IR) scholars have challenged the assumptions and research focus of mainstream IR, including the study of foreign policy. Feminist international relations (IR) scholars have shown that countries with greater gender equality have foreign policies that are less belligerent. How do we account for foreign policies that are explicitly focused on women’s empowerment and gender equality? The main questions motivating the research on feminism in foreign policy are as follows. Is there a gender gap between men and women in terms of foreign policy? If so, what explains the gender gap? Research shows that the evidence is mixed—for example, men and women often agree on foreign policy goals and objectives, but sometimes differ on what actions to take to achieve those goals, primarily whether to use force.
 
In considering where the women are in foreign policy, scholars examine women’s representation and participation in government, as gender equality is related to women’s representation and participation. While an increasing number of women have entered formal politics, whether as heads of state/government, cabinet and ministerial positions, and ambassadorships, for example, women remain underrepresented. The question also arises as to whether and how women’s participation and representation (descriptive and substantive representation) impact foreign policy. Does increased women’s participation and representation lead to a foreign policy focused on “women’s issues” and gender equality? Is a critical mass of women necessary for policies that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment? Finally, what does it mean to have a feminist foreign policy? (Summary from original source) 

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Intersectionality, Political Participation

Year: 2017

The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy

Citation:

Hudson, Valerie M., and Patricia Leidl. 2015. The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy. New York: Columbia University Press. 

Authors: Valerie M. Hudson, Patricia Leidl

Annotation:

Summary:
Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first Secretary of State to declare the subjugation of women worldwide a serious threat to U.S. national security. Known as the Hillary Doctrine, her stance was the impetus behind the 2010 Quadrennial Diplomatic and Development Review of U.S. foreign policy, formally committing America to the proposition that the empowerment of women is a stabilizing force for domestic and international peace.
 
Blending history, fieldwork, theory, and policy analysis while incorporating perspectives from officials and activists on the front lines of implementation, this book is the first to thoroughly investigate the Hillary Doctrine in principle and practice. Does the insecurity of women make nations less secure? How has the doctrine changed the foreign policy of the United States and altered its relationship with other countries such as China and Saudi Arabia? With studies focusing on Guatemala, Afghanistan, and Yemen, this invaluable policy text closes the gap between rhetoric and reality, confronting head-on what the future of fighting such an entrenched enemy entails. The research reports directly on the work being done by U.S. government agencies, including the Office of Global Women's Issues, established by Clinton during her tenure at the State Department, and explores the complexity and pitfalls of attempting to improve the lives of women while safeguarding the national interest. (Summary from Columbia University Press) 
 
Table of Contents:
1. How Sex Came to Matter in U.S. Foreign Policy
2. Should Sex Matter in U.S. Foreign Policy?
3. Guatemala: A Case Study
4. A Conspicuous Silence: U.S. Foreign Policy, Women, and Saudi Arabia
5. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Implementing the Hillary Doctrine
6. Afghanistan: The Litmus Test for the Hillary Doctrine
7. The Future of the Hillary Doctrine: Realpolitik and Fempolitik

Topics: Gender, Governance, Security Regions: MENA, Americas, Central America, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, United States of America

Year: 2015

The Battle After the War: Gender Discrimination in Property Rights and Post-Conflict Property Restitution

Citation:

Mohan, Sharanya Sai. 2011. "The Battle After the War: Gender Discrimination in Property Rights and Post-Conflict Property Restitution." The Yale Journal of International Law 36 (2): 461-95.

Author: Sharanya Sai Mohan

Annotation:

Summary: 
“This note argues that property restitution programs in transitional justice settings need to correct barriers to women's property ownership. In so doing, efforts by government, civil society, and the displaced themselves to achieve transitional justice can also create long-lasting property rights reform that moves a post-conflict society toward both reconstruction and equality. After considering the existing international legal framework as well as several case studies of transitional justice schemes, this Note will argue that actors in transitional justice should take certain steps at the very beginning of the transitional process to ensure that women's property rights are protected as they return to their lives” (Mohan 2011, 463).

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Peace and Security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Law, Justice, Transitional Justice, Land grabbing, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2011

Sovereignty, Vulnerability, and a Gendered Resistance in Indian-Occupied Kashmir

Citation:

Osuri, Goldie. 2018. “Sovereignty, Vulnerability, and a Gendered Resistance in Indian-Occupied Kashmir.” Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal 3 (2): 228–43.

Author: Goldie Osuri

Abstract:

Drawing on Iffat Fatima’s documentary film, Khoon Diy Baarav or Blood Leaves its Trail (2015), this paper explores how a gendered Kashmiri activism against human rights violations allows for reenvisioning the concept of an authoritarian and violent Westphalian sovereignty concerned with exclusive political authority and territory. Previous studies of gendered resistance are examined as are reformulations of sovereignty through feminist and Indigenous critiques. Through these examinations, the paper offers a way to rethink sovereignty through the theoretical concept of vulnerability. Such a rethinking of sovereignty may point to an interrelational model of sovereignty where the vulnerability of gendered bodies and the environment may be emphasised. In the context of human rights violations in Kashmir, this reenvisioning of sovereignty may be a necessary counter to the repetitious cycles of necropolitical sovereign power.

Keywords: Gender and sovereignty, Kashmir, human rights, vulnerability, resistance and activism

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Governance, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan

Year: 2018

Land Administration, Gender Equality and Development Cooperation: Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead

Citation:

Spichiger, Rachel, Rikke Brandt Broegaard, Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen, and Helle Munk Ravnborg. 2013. “Land Administration, Gender Equality and Development Cooperation: Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead.” DIIS Report 30, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen.

Authors: Rachel Spichiger, Rikke Brandt Broegaard, Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen, Helle Munk Ravnborg

Abstract:

Most land reforms seek to enhance tenure security, encourage investments and thus promote economic growth. In addition, recent land reforms increasingly also attempt to secure women’s and other vulnerable groups’ access to land. This DIIS Report examines the role of development cooperation in land reforms and the extent to which donor organisations have addressed concerns related to gender equality.
 
The report reviews the reforms in fifteen countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia, with a focus on Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Nicaragua. Donor organisations have played an important role in land law reforms but also in related legal reforms such as succession law or marriage law, which have an important impact on women’s access to and ownership of land. Legislation upholding gender equality is now present, albeit in different degrees, in most of the countries examined. However, the implementation of these legislative frameworks often does not follow suit, and women still face discrimination, in part due to social and cultural barriers and the inaccessibility of institutions able to support them. Moreover, gender concerns are also increasingly ‘evaporating’ in development cooperation policies. This is illustrated by the limited funding allocated to gender issues outside the ‘soft’ sectors of health and education and the weak implementation of gender mainstreaming in policies. The current inadequacy of gender-disaggregated data both in development cooperation and in national statistics e.g. on issues related to land tenure hampers efforts to effectively address issues related to gender equality and should therefore be corrected. 

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, International Organizations, NGOs

Year: 2013

Land Governance, Gender Equality and Development: Past Achievements and Remaining Challenges

Citation:

Ravnborg, Helle Munk, Rachel Spichiger, Rikke Brandt Broegaard, and Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen. 2016. “Land Governance, Gender Equality and Development: Past Achievements and Remaining Challenges.” Journal of International Development 28 (3): 412–27. 

Authors: Helle Munk Ravnborg, Rachel Spichiger, Rikke Brandt Broegaard, Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen

Abstract:

Most land governance reforms seek to enhance tenure security, encourage investments and thereby promote economic growth. Increasingly, land reforms attempt to secure women's and other vulnerable groups' access to land. This article reviews the extent to which gender equality in land tenure has been pursued in these reforms and examines the role played by donor cooperation. Despite significant progress in developing land legislation that upholds gender equality, implementation often does not follow suit, and women still face discrimination. Based on country case studies, the article identifies six challenges, which should be addressed to achieve gender equality in land tenure.

Keywords: land tenure, gender equality, customary, statutory, legal, development, cooperation

Topics: Economies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Rights, Land Rights Countries: Côte D'Ivoire

Year: 2016

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