Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Land Tenure

Differentiations in Women’s Land Tenure Experiences: Implications for Women’s Land Access and Tenure Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation:

Chigbu, Uchendu Eugene, Gaynor Paradza, and Walter Dachaga. 2019. “Differentiations in Women’s Land Tenure Experiences: Implications for Women’s Land Access and Tenure Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Land 8 (2). https://doi.org/10.3390/land8020022

Authors: Uchendu Eugene Chigbu, Gaynor Paradza, Walter Dachaga

Abstract:

Most literature on land tenure in sub-Saharan Africa has presented women as a homogenous group. This study uses evidence from Ghana, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe to show that women have differentiated problems, needs, and statuses in their quest for land access and tenure security. It illustrates how women-to-women differences influence women’s access to land. By investigating differentiations in women’s land tenure in the three countries, the study identifies multiple and somewhat interlinked ways in which differentiations exist in women’s land tenure. It achieved some key outcomes. The findings include a matrix of factors that differentiate women’s land access and tenure security, a visualisation of women’s differentiation in land tenure showing possible modes for actions, and an adaptable approach for operationalising women’s differentiation in land tenure policies (among others). Using these as evidence, it argues that women are a highly differentiated gender group, and the only thing homogenous in the three cases is that women are heterogeneous in their land tenure experiences. It concludes that an emphasis on how the differentiation among women allows for significant insight to emerge into how they experience tenure access differently is essential in improving the tenure security of women. Finally, it makes policy recommendations. 

Keywords: differentiation, gender, land, land access, land rights, land tenure, tenure security, social tenure, Sub-Saharan Africa, women, women's differentiation

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe

Year: 2019

Does the Matrilineality Make a Difference? Land, Kinship and Women’s Empowerment in Bobonaro District, Timor-Leste

Citation:

Narciso, Vanda Jesus Santos, and Pedro Damião Sousa Henriques. 2020. “Does the Matrilineality Make a Difference? Land, Kinship and Women’s Empowerment in Bobonaro District, Timor-Leste.” Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy 25 (2): 348–70.

Authors: Vanda Jesus Santos Narciso, Pedro Damião Sousa Henriques

Abstract:

This article investigates the roles that land rights and kinship norms have on rural women’s empowerment in the Bobonaro district of Timor-Leste. To this aim, a case study was carried out, using a questionnaire survey to compare three kinship groups (harmonic matrilineal, matrilineal and patrilineal). The land rights considered are ownership and control. The measurement of empowerment is based on three questions relating to household decision-making. Women’s autonomy and participation in decisions are also analyzed. The data presented show the importance of not only the ownership of land, but also effective and independent women’s land rights and the kinship system to women’s empowerment. Therefore, in order to contribute to gender equality, land policies should take gender and kinship into close consideration. 

Keywords: women, land, kinship, empowerment, Timor-Leste

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Hierarchies, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2020

Could Mapping Initiatives Catalyze the Interpretation of Customary Land Rights in Ways that Secure Women’s Land Rights?

Citation:

Paradza, Gaynor, Lebogang Mokwena and Walter Musakwa. 2020. “Could Mapping Initiatives Catalyze the Interpretation of Customary Land Rights in Ways that Secure Women’s Land Rights?” Land  9 (10): 344-360.

Authors: Gaynor Paradza, Lebogang Mokwena, Walter Musakwa

Abstract:

Although land forms the basis for marginal livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa, the asset is more strategic for women as they usually hold derived and dependent rights to land in customary tenure areas. Initiatives to secure women’s land tenure in customary areas are undermined by the social embeddedness of the rights, patriarchy, lack of awareness by the communities, legal pluralism, and challenges of recording the rights. As pressure on customary land tenure increases due to foreign and local land-based investment interests, land titling initiatives, tourism, and mineral resources exploration, communities and women within them are at real risk of losing their land, the basis of their livelihoods. Women stand to lose more as they hold tenuous land rights in customary land tenure areas. Accordingly, this study analyzes case studies of selected mapping initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa to interrogate the extent to which mapping both as a cadastral exercise and emerging practice in the initiation of participatory land governance initiatives, catalyze the transmission of customary land rights in ways that have a positive impact on women’s access to land in customary land tenure areas. The results indicate that mapping initiatives generate opportunities, innovations, and novel spaces for securing women’s access to land in customary tenure areas which include catalyzing legislative changes and facilitating technology transfer, increasing awareness of women’s interests, providing opportunities for women to participate in decision-making forums, providing a basis for securing statutory recognition for their land rights, and improving natural resource stewardship. The potential challenges include the community’s capacity to sustain the initiatives, the expense of the technology and software, widespread illiteracy of women, power asymmetries and bias of the mapping experts, increased vulnerability of mapped land to exploitation, the legal status of the maps in the host community and /or country, compatibility with existing land recording systems, statutory bias in recording land rights and the potential of mapping initiatives to unearth existing land boundary conflicts. These challenges can be mediated by sensitive planning and management to ensure real and sustainable land tenure security for women. The paper contributes to debates around customary land tenure dynamics, specifically the issues pertaining to registration of primary and derived customary rights to land. These includes policy debates and choices to be made about how best to secure tenuous customary land rights of women and other vulnerable people. The paper also contributes to our understanding of what instruments in land registration toolkits might strengthen women’s land rights and the conditions under which this could be done.

Keywords: customary, land, tenure, women, mapping, Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2020

Securing Meaningful Life: Women’s Work and Land Rights in Rural Myanmar

Citation:

Faxon, Hilary. 2020. “Securing Meaningful Life: Women’s Work and Land Rights in Rural Myanmar.” Journal of Rural Studies 76: 76–84. 

Author: Hilary Faxon

Annotation:

Summary:
"It is in this context that I draw on data from a participatory photography project and a household survey to examine rural women's own accounts of daily life on the land, as well as evidence that they are excluded from new land reforms. I show how women's work sustains their families and communities and argue that the women's exclusion from land governance is especially problematic in an era in which their labor produces an increasing share of land's value. I build on scholarship of agrarian change to argue for a feminist approach to theorizing land rights that starts from social reproduction and asserts that the normative aim of land reform should be to secure meaningful life. Such an approach transcends a focus on statutory or customary rights or even broader notions of access, centering the ability to reproduce oneself and one's family through cultivation, care, and community engagement. I demonstrate that studying these processes benefits from epistemic flexibility and mixed methods inquiry capable of interrogating both gendered land tenure and everyday practices of land use in ethnically and agriculturally diverse communities, and suggest that realizing this project in practice will require changing the aims and assumptions of scholarly and policy debates on land reform."
 
"This article continues with a conceptual framing before introducing the study's context and methodology. I then turn to the everyday processes of making meaningful life, analyzing rural women's own photographic accounts to highlight the ways in which women's productive and care work sustains families and communities materially and socially. Next, I turn to the question of securing rights, assessing both household survey and photographic data to ask how changing systems of formal land rights are reshaping women's abilities to hold onto land. Finally, I discuss the implications of these findings for understanding land reform and smallholder persistence"(Faxon 2020, 77).

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2020

Women's Land Rights and Maternal Healthcare in Southwestern Uganda: Exploring the Implications of Women's Decision-Making Regarding Sale and Use of Land on Access to Maternal Healthcare

Citation:

Nyakato, Viola N., Charles Rwabukwali, and Susan Kools. 2020. "Women's Land Rights and Maternal Healthcare in Southwestern Uganda: Exploring the Implications of Women's Decision-Making Regarding Sale and Use of Land on Access to Maternal Healthcare." African Journal of Reproductive Health 24 (1): 62-80.

Authors: Viola N. Nyakato, Charles Rwabukwali, Susan Kools

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Most traditional land tenure practices among developing economies are opposed to protecting and promoting women’s land ownership rights. In Uganda, land tenure practices are largely customary and patriarchal in nature, in most communities women’s land tenure security is dependent on marriage. This paper builds a body of evidence on how gender biased land tenure negatively affects maternal healthcare decision-making for family planning, antenatal care services and skilled care during childbirth. A cross-sectional mixed methodology was used to collect household survey data. Qualitative data from individual and focus group interviews were analysed using thematic content analysis. Land was found to be an important household factor that shapes women’s maternal healthcare decision-making, not only through land ownership, but also through lands role as a source of identity, gendered land use decision-making patterns, and the allocation of resources that accrue from work on land. Most of the land-owning households are headed by men. More women than men expressed insecurity of tenure, despite the households’ land ownership status. Land use decision-making, including its sale was significantly associated with maternal healthcare decision-making. Feeling secure on land was significantly associated with maternal healthcare decisions for planned pregnancy and use of antenatal care. Land purchasing was found to significantly determine place and skill level of providers for childbirth. In conclusion, women involvement in land purchasing decisions demonstrates more control and agency in the number of children. Women’s land insecurity undermines their prospects for positive maternal health behaviours.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT:
La plupart des pratiques foncieres traditionnelles dans les economies en développement sont opposées å la protection et å la promotion des droits de propriété fonciere des femmes. En Ouganda, les pratiques foncieres sont en grande partie coutumieres et de nature patriarcale ; dans la plupart des communautés, la sécurité fonciere des femmes dépend du mariage. Cet article établit un ensemble de preuves sur la façon dont le régime foncier sexiste affecte négativement la prise de décision en matiere de soins de santé maternels pour la planification familiale, les services de soins prénatals et les soins spécialisés pendant l'accouchement. Une méthodologie mixte transversale a été utilisée pour collecter les données des enquetes aupres des ménages. Les données qualitatives issues d'entretiens individuels et de groupes de discussion ont été analysées å l'aide d'une analyse de contenu thématique. La terre s'est avérée etre un facteur important pour les ménages qui façonne la prise de décision des femmes en matiere de soins de santé maternelle, non seulement par la propriété fonciere, mais aussi par le rôle de la terre en tant que source d'identité, les modeles de prise de décision en matiere d'utilisation des terres selon le sexe et l'allocation des ressources qui découlent du travail å terre. La plupart des ménages propriétaires fonciers sont dirigés par des hommes. Plus de femmes que dhommes ont exprimé leur insécurité doccupation, malgré le statut de propriété fonciere du ménage. La prise de décision concernant l'utilisation des terres, y compris sa vente, était significativement associée å la prise de décisions en matiere de soins de santé maternelle. Le sentiment de sécurité å terre était significativement associé aux décisions de soins de santé maternels concernant une grossesse planifiée et l'utilisation des soins prénatals. L'achat de terres a permis de déterminer de maniere significative le lieu et le niveau de compétence des prestataires pour l'accouchement. En conclusion, l'implication des femmes dans les décisions d'achat de terres démontre plus de contróle et d'agence sur le nombre d'enfants. Linsécurité fonciere des femmes compromet leurs perspectives de comportements positifs en matiere de santé maternelle.

Keywords: land ownership, decision-making, gender, maternal healthcare, Uganda

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Hierarchies, Patriarchy, Health, Reproductive Health, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2020

Gender Differences in the Relationship between Land Ownership and Managerial Rights: Implications for Intrahousehold Farm Labor Allocation

Citation:

Kang, Munsu, Benjamin Schwab, and Jisang Yu. 2020. “Gender Differences in the Relationship between Land Ownership and Managerial Rights: Implications for Intrahousehold Farm Labor Allocation”. World Development 125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.104669.

Authors: Munsu Kang, Benjamin Schwab, Jisang Yu

Abstract:

Recent research has increased interest in the intersection of land tenure and gender roles in African agriculture. While formalization of land ownership has been found to have important gender impacts, time use and management remain critical to both the productivity of agricultural operations as well as the welfare of household members. Thus, it is important to understand how gender intersects with the relationship between the ownership and operation of plots. We use plot level data from nationally representative household surveys in Ethiopia and Malawi to characterize the structure (sole male; sole female; or joint) and domain (plot ownership; plot management; or output management) of control over land in each household. We then answer the following research questions: 1) are there any gender gaps in the degrees of the concordance among different domains of controls? and 2) how does the structure of ownership and managerial rights affect labor allocations on plots? We find that for both males and females, sole managerial rights are most likely to occur in plots owned exclusively by either gender. However, on jointly owned plots, instances of sole planting rights are almost exclusively male. We also find that while females supply more of their own labor to plots they control, the pattern of own-gender bias in labor allocation varies with each structure-domain combination. The heterogeneity suggests gender inequality analyses related to land rights are sensitive to the choice of domain of control. 

Keywords: land rights, gender equality, farm labor, LSMS, Ethiopia, Malawi

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Hierarchies, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Ethiopia, Malawi

Year: 2020

Using a Gender-Responsive Land Rights Framework to Assess Youth Land Rights in Rural Liberia

Citation:

Louis, Elizabeth, Tizai Mauto, My-Lan Dodd, Tasha Heidenrich, Peter Dolo and Emmanuel Urey. 2020. “Using a Gender-Responsive Land Rights Framework to Assess Youth Land Rights in Rural Liberia.” Land 9 (8): 247–68.

Authors: Elizabeth Louis, Tizai Mauto, My-Lan Dodd, Tasha Heidenrich, Peter Dolo, Emmanuel Urey

Abstract:

This article summarizes the evidence on youth land rights in Liberia from a literature review combined with primary research from two separate studies: (1) A qualitative assessment conducted as formative research to inform the design of the Land Rights and Sustainable Development (LRSD) project for Landesa and its partners’ community level interventions; and (2) a quantitative baseline survey of program beneficiaries as part of an evaluation of the LRSD project. The findings are presented using a Gender-Responsive Land Rights Framework that examines youth land rights through a gender lens. The evidence highlights that female and male youth in Liberia face significant but different barriers to long-term access to land, as well as to participation in decisions related to land. Our suggested recommendations offer insights for the implementation of Liberia’s recently passed Land Rights Act as well as for community-level interventions focused on increasing youth land tenure security in Liberia.

Keywords: youth land rights, gender-responsive land rights framework, Liberia Land Rights Act, land governance, tenure security

Topics: Age, Youth, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2020

Gains for Women from Farmland Redistribution in South Africa and Sustainable Pathways out of Poverty – Insights from Recent Evidence

Citation:

Motala, Shirin, Stewart Ngandu, and Aubrey Mpungose. 2016. “Gains for Women from Farmland Redistribution in South Africa and Sustainable Pathways out of Poverty – Insights from Recent Evidence.” Agenda 30 (4): 85-98.  

Authors: Shirin Motala, Stewart Ngandu, Aubrey Mpungose

Abstract:

Equitable access to land and other natural resources aimed at significant rural poverty reduction are at the forefront of ambitious goals entrenched in post-1994 land and agrarian policies. Among other targets, redistributive land policies promise that women should make up at least one-third of all land reform beneficiaries. After two decades of farmland redistribution, disputes persist as to whether these outcomes have been achieved.

This focus piece systematically reviews evidence from a micro-level study based on blended information gathering strategies in three provinces that vary in terms of their agrarian structures and agro-ecology. The study uniquely overlays farmland transfer data with provisioning of agricultural development support information.

The analysis embeds the gender equity-land reform puzzle in the traditional poverty-land reform nexus. Its main question explores the extent to which land and agrarian reform interventions have produced an altered livelihood dynamic for land reform beneficiaries and more importantly to measure how this has translated into gendered sustainable livelihood impacts at household level. The study draws on the sustainable livelihoods framework as the lens for making sense of gender inequalities in the countryside and the extent to which there has been equitable redress in the interests of rural women.

The findings summarise trends in respect of access, ownership and control of land assets and the related livelihood outcomes by gender. Evidence suggests that shrinking numbers of black farmers gain ownership of land and enjoy access to Government-financed support for on-farm production and participation in agricultural value chains beyond the farm gate. This finding is more pronounced for women farmers. More importantly, it points to important design features of such interventions which can and do impact on promoting sustainable livelihoods, particularly for female headed households.

Keywords: land and agrarian reform, gender, gender inequality, sustainable livelihoods, pro-poor development, farmland transfer, land ownership

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Households, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

Anatomy of Women’s Landlessness in the Patrilineal Customary Land Tenure Systems of Sub-Saharan Africa and a Policy Pathway

Citation:

Chigbu, Uchendu Eugene. 2019. “Anatomy of Women’s Landlessness in the Patrilineal Customary Land Tenure Systems of Sub-Saharan Africa and a Policy Pathway.” Land Use Policy 86: 126–35.

Author: Uchendu Eugene Chigbu

Abstract:

A typical character of land tenure or property systems in sub-Saharan Africa is that the systems exclude women (implicitly and explicitly). That is why the discourse on women and land tenure remains a burgeoning policy debate in sub-Saharan Africa. This study is relevant for land policy (and land governance) in sub-Saharan Africa because it evokes the minority voices of women in the land and gender discourse in sub-Saharan Africa. The study dissects, anatomically, female landlessness by probing why women still do not enjoy equal land rights today, and what must be done (policy-wise) to unchain women from their state of landlessness. By way of methodology, the study reviews relevant literature on the historical dimension of women's access to property rights. It is an explorative study based on two e-Focus Group Discussions conducted on two different online platforms to enable the capture of more expert knowledge on the subject of customary land tenure, gender and women's land rights in (and on) sub-Saharan Africa. The findings exposed three pillars of women's landlessness in sub-Saharan Africa, including an analysis of the stages of male power that cripple women's capacity to own or have access to land. The study identified and explained the nature of the contributions of different stages of male powers — including linguistic power, son power, husband power, and father power — to women's landlessness. It shows how these powers form the elements of male dominance which interact over a life course to cripple women's physical and psychological strength within their social spaces (which usually results into socio-political and economic disempowerments). As a key output, the study produced a policy pathway to neutralising the pillars of women's landlessness.

Keywords: Africa, Customary tenure, gender equality, gender equity, landlessness, land governance, land policy, land rights, land tenure, Sub-Saharan Africa, women

Topics: Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2019

An Assessment of Land Tenure Regimes and Women’s Land Rights in Two Regions of Myanmar

Citation:

Louis, Elizabeth, Laura Eshbach, Beth Roberts, & Naw Dah Htee. 2018. “An Assessment of Land Tenure Regimes and Women’s Land Rights in Two Regions of Myanmar.” Paper prepared for the 2018 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, The World Bank, Washington D.C., March 19-23.

Authors: Elizabeth Louis, Laura Eshbach, Beth Roberts, Naw Dah Htee

Abstract:

While formal laws and some customary systems in Myanmar recognize the equality of women’s rights within households, evidence suggests a complex picture in which the bundle of rights enjoyed by the male members of a household may not be equally available to women, a picture complicated by the context of Myanmar, with its variations in regional ethnic geopolitics fueled by landlessness, migration, conflict, and displacement. This paper reports on findings of two qualitative gender assessment case studies conducted in 2016 and 2017 in Bago and Tanintharyi regions of Myanmar to contribute to evidence on women’s land rights in Myanmar and help bridge the gaps in knowledge on 1) how women in Myanmar experience their bundle of rights to land: 2) what legal, social, economic, and cultural constraints women face; and 3) what mechanisms can be put in place to take into consideration these constraints as women access their land rights.

Keywords: Customary tenure, gender-responsive framework, Myanmar, qualitative assessment, women's land rights

Topics: Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2018

Pages

© 2021 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 - Land Tenure