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Land Rights

First Casualties of the Green Economy - Risks and Losses for Low Income Women

Citation:

Tandon, Nidhi. 2012. “First Casualties of the Green Economy – Risks and Losses for Low Income Women.” Development 55 (3): 311–9.

Author: Nidhi Tandon

Abstract:

Nidhi Tandon argues that women are the first casualties to renewable energy. The current political/economic paradigm ensures that the interests of the global and export economies from the productive capacity of land and water are protected while small farming communities are not. She sees possibilities in the green economy only if it rests on the involvement and engagement of poor people.

Keywords: land rights, rural economy, poverty, value, ownership, ecosystems, challenges

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy, Political Economies, Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2012

Coping with History and Hydrology: How Kenya's Settlement and Land Tenure Patterns Shape Contemporary Water Rights and Gender Relations in Water

Citation:

Onyango, Leah, Brent Swallow, Jessica L. Roy, and Ruth Meinzen-Dick. 2007. “Coping with History and Hydrology: How Kenya’s Settlement and Land Tenure Patterns Shape Contemporary Water Rights and Gender Relations in Water.” In Community-Based Water Law and Water Resource Management Reform in Developing Countries, edited by Barbara van Koppen, Mark Giordano, and John Butterworth, 173–95. Oxfordshire: CAB International.

Authors: Leah Onyango, Brent Swallow, Jessica L. Roy, Ruth Meinzen-Dick

Abstract:

Like many other African countries described in this volume, Kenya has recently enacted several new policies and public-sector reforms that affect its water sector. This chapter considers those reforms in the context of the country's particular history of land tenure and settlement, a history that continues to have a profound influence on contemporary patterns of land and water management as well as on gender relations in water. The chapter focuses on the particular case of a river basin in Western Kenya, the Nyando river basin (3517 km 2), that has its outlet in Lake Victoria. Over the last century, the Nyando river basin has experienced a history that has shaped spatial patterns of land tenure, settlement and water management. The plural land management systems that exist in the basin today are the product of three distinct periods of historical change: (i) the pre-colonial era that was dominated by customary landholding and land rights systems; (ii) the colonial era in which large areas of land were alienated for specific users and the majority of the Kenyan population confined to native reserve areas; and (iii) the post-colonial era that has encouraged large-scale private ownership of land by men and a small public-sector ownership of irrigation land, all against the backdrop of customary norms and the colonial pattern of settlement and land use. Both colonial and post-colonial institutions have largely disre-garded women's rights to land and water resources. Although customary norms are consistent in ensuring access to water for all members of particular ethnic groups, in practice access and management of water points vary across the basin depending upon the historically defined pattern of landownership and settlement. Customary norms that secure the rights of women to water resources tend to have most impact in former native reserve areas and least impact in ethnically heterogeneous resettlement areas held under leasehold tenure. Recommendations are made on how new policies, legislation and government institutions could be more effec-tive in promoting the water needs of rural communities in Kenya.

Keywords: legal pluralism, land tenure, water tenure, gender roles, integrated natural resource management, Property Rights, policy framework, community participation

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2007

Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Space for Women's Empowerment in Bangladesh

Citation:

Hossain, Naomi. 2018. “Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Space for Women's Empowerment in Bangladesh.” Women's Studies International Forum 68: 104–12.

Author: Naomi Hossain

Abstract:

Bangladesh is widely deemed to have made rapid progress on gender equality and women's empowerment. How to understand the apparent advances of women in a poor, populous, Muslim-majority country in the belt of classic patriarchy? This paper locates the origins of these changes in the immediate aftermath of Bangladesh's struggle for independence in 1971, when a series of visible ruptures to the patriarchal bargain dramatized the ongoing crisis of social reproduction. This drew elite attention to the conditions of landless rural women, creating space for their programmatic inclusion in the political settlement, within a newly biopolitical project of national development. The paper argues that it is possible to make sense of the gains women have made as well as old and new obstacles to gender justice - including women's continuing responsibility for care - in this critical juncture in the political history of gender relations in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Bangladesh, women's empowerment, biopower, patriarchal bargains, post-conflict gender relations

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2018

Joint Titling in Rural Peru: Impact on Women’s Participation in Household Decision-Making

Citation:

Wiig, Henrik. 2013. “Joint Titling in Rural Peru: Impact on Women’s Participation in Household Decision-Making.” World Development 52: 104-19.

Author: Henrik Wiig

Keywords: land titling, gender, empowerment, intra-household decisions, Peru, Latin America

Annotation:

Summary: 
Peru has implemented joint property rights between spouses and cohabitants on 57% of 1.5 million formalized agricultural plots. Bargaining theory indicates such redistribution of assets should empower women. This project measures influence on decision-making in 1,280 rural households, interviewing men and women separately. A historical coincidence during the land reform of the 1960–70s made only some communities eligible for plot titling. The process was exogenous and independent of both household and community characteristics. The significantly positive impact on female empowerment in simple mean comparison and econometric models including pre-titling historic variables is hence unbiased. (Summary from original source) 


Topics: Gender, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2013

Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure

Citation:

Weinberg, Tara. 2013. "Contesting Customary Law in the Eastern Cape: Gender, Place and Land Tenure." Acta Juridica 2013 (1): 110-7.

Author: Tara Weinberg

Abstract:

This paper explores how government interventions to restrict African access to land in the 'Ciskei' in South Africa between 1930-1960 impacted disproportionately on women. It focuses on events in three districts, Fort Beaufort, Keiskammahoek and Peddie, making use of archival research to show how African people, particularly women, responded to government interventions that progressively rendered them landless. The paper interrogates how Africans' contestation of customary law and their relationship to the land was intricately tied up with the gendered nature of their family positions, privileges and responsibilities. Since the arenas in which women could voice their issues were limited, men sometimes articulated these issues (albeit in a mediated form) when the interest of a woman who approached them coincided with their own. Male Bunga Councillors appealed to a 'living' form of customary law in attempts to win greater rights to land inheritance for women and younger sons. They positioned their children as 'responsible' daughters and 'responsible' sons. In a context in which the state frequently used the language of 'African custom', in distorted ways, to justify its land policies, men and women contested not only the restraints on Africans' access to land, but also the nature and content of customary law. 

Topics: Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2013

Land Registration and Gender Equality in Ethiopia: How State–Society Relations Influence the Enforcement of Institutional Change

Citation:

Lavers, Tom. 2017. “Land Registration and Gender Equality in Ethiopia: How State–Society Relations Influence the Enforcement of Institutional Change.” Journal of Agrarian Change 17 (1): 188–207.

Author: Tom Lavers

Abstract:

In recent years, the Ethiopian government has introduced reforms to promote gender equality in land rights, including legislative changes and a land registration programme that requires the names of both husbands and wives on certificates. This paper examines implementation of these reforms through a case‐based approach that links national policy processes to analysis of two village‐level case studies, based on fieldwork conducted in 2009–10. In both cases, government initiatives do appear to have enhanced women's land rights to a certain degree. However, the causal process involved is considerably more complex than the direct link between titling and women's land rights that is assumed in much of the existing literature. The cases suggest that government initiatives are contingent upon state–society relations, and that change to informal institutions and power relations within society can constitute an important complement to land registration. 

Keywords: ethiopia, land tenure, gender, political economy, state-society relations

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2017

A Woman's Field is Made at Night: Gendered Land Rights and Norms in Burkina Faso

Citation:

Kevane, Michael, and Leslie C. Gray. 1999. “A Woman's Field is Made at Night: Gendered Land Rights and Norms in Burkina Faso.” Feminist Economics 5 (3): 1-26.

Authors: Michael Kevane, Leslie C. Gray

Abstract:

Gendered social norms and institutions are important determinants of agricultural activities in southwestern Burkina Faso. This paper argues that gendered land tenure, in particular, has effects on equity and efficiency. The usual view of women as holders of secondary, or indirect, rights to land must be supplemented by a more nuanced understanding of tenure. Women's rights are in fact considerably more complex than the simple right to fields from their husbands. First, women's rights to property obtained from men may be coupled with other rights and obligations. In many ethnic groups, women have share rights to the harvest of their husbands. Second, despite land scarcity and rises in land value certain types of rights are strengthening. Specifically, women are more and more able to obtain land through the market. Finally, government intervention in the gendering of tenure seems to have eroded women's individual rights to land even when government projects explicitly try to incorporate women as "partners" in land-use programs.

Keywords: land, africa, gender, women, Burkina Faso

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso

Year: 1999

Formalising Land Rights Based on Customary Tenure: Community Delimitation and Women’s Access to Land in Central Mozambique

Citation:

Kaarhus, Randi, and Stefaan Dondeyne. 2015. "Formalising Land Rights Based on Customary Tenure: Community Delimitation and Women’s Access to Land in Central Mozambique." Journal of Modern African Studies 53 (2): 193-216.

Authors: Randi Kaarhus , Stefaan Dondeyne

Abstract:

The Mozambican Land Law of 1997 intends to provide flexible rules of access to land, while securing local people's customary rights, as well as equal rights for women and men. Drawing on participant observation during a ‘land delimitation’ process in central Mozambique, this article analyses the complex negotiation ensuing from the implementation of the Land Law in a local community. It shows how the delimitation process provided spaces for asserting – male – roles of power and authority, while local women were increasingly marginalised in the process. By presenting oral testimonies from women in the community, the authors seek to balance the account, providing women's perspectives on the highly gendered character of interests in, access to, and exclusion from land. The analysis ends with the question: What would be required to provide a space for local women to articulate their interests in a secure access to land during the delimitation process itself?

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2015

Land to the Tiller? Gender Relations and Land Reforms

Citation:

Jacobs, Susie. 1997. “Land to the Tiller? Gender Relations and Land Reforms.” Society in Transition 28 (1-4): 82-100.

Author: Susie Jacobs

Abstract:

This paper examines the gendered effects of different types of land tenure in land reform programmes, comparing individual household/family allocation with that in cooperatives/collectives. Summarising African, Asian and Latin American cases, it takes a broad perspective.

The results of land reforms along individual household lines are strikingly similar. All programmes assign land to household heads, usually husbands, following the populist stereotype of ‘undifferentiated peasant family farms’. This factor disadvantages wives, although others such as increased food security are beneficial. Many (not all) wives gain in terms of material comfort but may lose power within households, and come to have access to land only through men.

Cooperatives/collectives have become highly unpopular, due to a variety of factors, e.g. the experience of forced collectivisation; patronage-mongering and (for some husbands/fathers), fear of loss of control over female labour and sexuality. Despite real problems, some advantages exist for women within them; these include their greater visibility as cooperative/collective members who receive work points.

State support is necessary for a gender-aware land reform, but—as the Bodghaya struggle in Bihar highlights—so is ‘grassroots’ organisation that includes gender issues in more than a tokenistic fashion.

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 1997

Implications of Customary Practices on Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership in Cameroon

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart, Irene Fokum Sama-Lang, and Lawrence Fon Fombe. 2012. “Implications of Customary Practices on Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership in Cameroon.” Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (3): 260-74.

Authors: Lotsmart Fonjong, Irene Fokum Sama-Lang, Lawrence Fon Fombe

Abstract:

Africa, before European colonization, knew no other form of legal system outside customary arrangements. Based on secondary sources and a primary survey conducted between 2009 and 2010 on the situation of women and land rights in anglophone Cameroon, this paper examines the grounds for discrimination in customary laws against women's rights to land in the context of legal pluralism, and discusses the implications of this custom of gender discrimination. In drawing from Cameroon as an exemplar, it concludes that the strong influence and impact of customs on current land tenure systems have global implications on women's land rights, food security and sustainable development, and that gender equality in land matters can be possible only where the critical role of ethics is recognized in pursuit of the economic motive of land rights.

Keywords: women's rights, land tenure, customary practices, discrimination, development

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, peace and security, Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2012

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