Land Tenure

Land Reform and Changing Gender Patterns in Rural Farmland Ownership


Hart, Tim GB, Margaret Chandia, and Peter T. Jacobs. 2018. “Land Reform and Changing Gender Patterns in Rural Farmland Ownership.” Agenda 32 (4): 111–20.

Authors: Tim GB Hart, Margaret Chandia, Peter T. Jacobs


The implementation of land reform in South Africa intends to bring about equity and equality but has encountered unanticipated or unplanned outcomes that have unforeseen effects for the various actors involved, particularly women. In this paper, we focus on the emerging patterns in gender ownership of farmland made available through the farmland redistribution programme. Analysing data from a mixed methods approach that used a household survey instrument and was followed up with individual and group interviews, we examine the outcomes and consequences of land redistribution with respect to the gender ownership of redistributed land. The findings provisionally indicate that the farmland redistribution programme has influenced ownership patterns that tend to include women into joint land ownership agreements alongside men in far greater numbers than women-only headed households. A review of policy interventions indicates that this joint-ownership outcome was never proposed. It has its own consequences with regard to de jure and de facto ownership of and access to farmland. Furthermore, it is in stark contrast to the policy idea of increasing redistributed land ownership exclusively for women in order to address gender imbalances within land ownership by black farmers. Despite differences across provinces, men as individual owners are the main beneficiaries of land redistribution. Women tend to enter into arrangements with men to acquire land so that they can meet the own-contribution requirements of the redistribution applications. In doing so they now have legal rights, as opposed to customary and common law rights, to this land. The effect of these changing land ownership relationships and patterns requires deeper research across these and other areas of South Africa especially with regard to gender ownership and gender livelihoods at household level.

Keywords: land distribution, gender of landowners, unplanned outcomes, household gender relations, South Africa

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2018

Land Ownership Patterns and Livelihood of Women Entrepreneurs: Implications for Sustainable Development in Ado-Odo Local Government in Ogun State, Nigeria


Yusuff, Olabisi.  2019. “Land Ownership Patterns and Livelihood of Women Entrepreneurs: Implications for Sustainable Development in Ado-Odo Local Government in Ogun State, Nigeria.” Journal of Women’s Entrepreneurship and Education, 1 (2): 36–55.

Author: Olabisi Yusuff


Land is an essential commodity everywhere in the world, for people who use it mainly as a source of livelihood, either for farming or other subsistence purposes. Land becomes a quintessential means of survival and even a natural entitlement for them and their families. Women who are the primary users of land for farming faces challenges on owning landed properties as a result of their gender.  Women, frequently and systematically lack access to land rights in many countries. Yet, land rights are keys for a life with dignity; they are the basis for entitlements which can ensure an adequate standard of living and economic independence and thus, personal freedom. This study therefore aims at examining land ownership patterns and livelihood of women in Ado-Odo local government of Ogun state. The paper was hinged on Social exclusion and feminist theory. Method of data collections was triangulated. Five hundred questionnaires were distributed to participants through multistage sampling technique. While indepth interviewed were conducted for twenty respondents that were purposively picked. Quantitative data was analyzed using simple percentage and frequency distribution. Hypothesis was tested with chi-square method. Qualitative data was analyzed through content analysis and ethnographic summaries. Findings from the study revealed that patterns of land ownership in Ado-Odo local government affects women livelihoods and that majority of women respondents want change, as they narrated their challenges as regards patterns of land ownership.  The paper recommends that for women to have full access and rights to ownership of lands there is need to deconstruct, re-construct, and re-conceptualize customary law notions as they pertain to issues of land inheritance by women. This is important for sustainable development in Ogun state, Nigeria.

Keywords: patterns, land ownership, livelihoods, women entrepreneurs, social exclusion, Nigeria

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2019

Licensing of Artisanal Mining on Private Land in Uganda: Social and Economic Implications for Female Spouses and Women Entrepreneurs


Sebina-Zziwa, Abby, and Richard Kibombo.  2020. “Licensing of Artisanal Mining on Private Land in Uganda: Social and Economic Implications for Female Spouses and Women Entrepreneurs.” Canadian Journal of African Studies 54 (1): 101–17.

Authors: Abby Sebina-Zziwa, Richard Kibombo


Based on research conducted from October 2015 through June 2018, this paper highlights the social and economic implications of licensing artisanal mining on women’s land rights in Uganda. It also brings to the fore how artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) governance is affecting women’s participation in the sector. It examines how women as spouses and as entrepreneurs in the ASM sector are affected by the prevailing local governance structures and land tenure arrangements; the arrangements in place to ensure that female spouses get a share of compensation and other long-term benefits from ASM; and the ramifications of the lacuna between policy and enforcement on spouses and on women engaged in the ASM sector. The results show that the rights of women in the ASM sector are subjugated to social cultural practices, contradictory laws regarding women’s land rights, poor law enforcement, and weak structures for ASM governance.
Basé sur des recherches conduites entre octobre 2015 et juin 2018, cet article met en lumière les implications sociales et économiques de l’octroi de licences d’exploitation minière artisanale sur les droits fonciers des femmes en Ouganda. Il met également en évidence la façon dont la gouvernance de l’exploitation minière artisanale et à petite échelle (EMAPE) affecte la participation des femmes dans le secteur. Il examine comment les femmes, en tant que conjointes et entrepreneures dans le secteur de l’EMAPE sont affectées par les structures de gouvernance locale et les régimes fonciers en vigueur; les dispositions en place pour faire en sorte que les conjointes reçoivent une part de la rémunération et des autres avantages à long terme de l’EMAPE; et les ramifications de la lacune entre la politique et l’application de la loi sur les conjoints et sur les femmes engagées dans le secteur de l’EMAPE. Les résultats montrent que les droits des femmes engagées dans le secteur de l’EMAPE sont soumis aux pratiques socioculturelles, aux lois contradictoires concernant les droits fonciers des femmes, à la mauvaise application des lois et à la faiblesse des structures de gouvernance de l’EMAPE.

Keywords: private registered land, artisanal mining, women's surface rights, legal pluralism, hybrid governance

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2020

Vulnerability and Resilience of Female Farmers in Oku, Cameroon, to Climate Change


Azong, Matilda, Clare J. Kelso, and Kammila Naidoo. 2018. "Vulnerability and Resilience of Female Farmers in Oku, Cameroon, to Climate Change." African Sociological Review / Revue Africaine de Sociologie 22 (1): 31-53. 

Authors: Matilda Azong, Clare J. Kelso, Kammila Naidoo


The experience of climate change is filtered through ones existing cultural, social and economic vulnerabilities. The rural poor in natural resource dependent communities in various African countries are likely to be negatively affected by climate change. In many cultures female farmers are considerably worse off than their male counterparts. This study makes use of a life history methodology in order to examine the particular nature of the vulnerability experienced by rural women in Oku in the Bamenda Highlands region of Cameroon. Gender is linked to vulnerability through a number of factors. These include access to and control over land, division of labour, marriage relationships, access to education and responsibility for dependents. Participants’ life histories show how vulnerability in the region develops over time and is both complex and non-linear. Nevertheless, the participants expressed how they used their agency, both individual and collective, in coping with vulnerability. They narrate different adaptation strategies employed including livelihood diversification, and changing farming practices. Understanding the role of gender in shaping women’s vulnerability is useful in informing the design and implementation of adaptation policies. This article makes an empirical contribution to the discussions on the need to engender climate change research, policy and actions.
L’expérience du changement climatique est filtrée à travers les vulnérabilités culturelles, sociales et économiques existantes. Les ruraux pauvres des communautés dépendantes des ressources naturelles dans divers pays africains sont susceptibles d’être négativement affectés par le changement climatique. Dans de nombreuses cultures, les agricultrices sont nettement moins bien loties que leurs homologues masculins. Cette étude utilise une méthodologie d’histoire de vie afin d’examiner la nature particulière de la vulnérabilité des femmes rurales à Oku dans la région des hautes terres de Bamenda au Cameroun. Le genre est lié à la vulnérabilité à travers un certain nombre de facteurs. Ceux-ci comprennent l’accès et le contrôle de la terre, la division du travail, les relations matrimoniales, l’accès à l’éducation et la responsabilité des personnes à charge. Les histoires de vie des participants montrent comment la vulnérabilité dans la région se développe avec le temps et est à la fois complexe et non linéaire. Néanmoins, les participants ont expliqué comment ils ont utilisé leur agence, individuelle et collective, pour faire face à la vulnérabilité. Ils décrivent différentes stratégies d’adaptation utilisées, y compris la diversification des moyens de subsistance et l’évolution des pratiques agricoles. Comprendre le rôle du genre dans la détermination de la vulnérabilité des femmes est utile pour éclairer la conception et la mise en œuvre des politiques d’adaptation. Cet article apporte une contribution empirique aux discussions sur la nécessité d’engendrer des recherches, des politiques et des actions sur le changement climatique.

Keywords: vulnerability, Cameroon, gender, life history, climate, resilience

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2018

Gender, Natural Capital, and Migration in the Southern Ecuadorian Andes


Gray, Clark L. 2010. “Gender, Natural Capital, and Migration in the Southern Ecuadorian Andes.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 42 (3): 678–96.

Author: Clark L. Gray


This paper investigates the roles of gender and natural capital (defined as land and associated environmental services) in out-migration from a rural study area in the southern Ecuadorian Andes. Drawing on original household survey data, I construct and compare multivariate event history models of individual-level, household-level, and community-level influences on the migration of men and women. The results undermine common assumptions that landlessness and environmental degradation universally contribute to out-migration. Instead, men access land resources to facilitate international migration and women are less likely to depart from environmentally marginal communities relative to other areas. These results reflect a significantly gendered migration system in which natural capital plays an important but unexpected role.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, Land Tenure Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2010

Power and Rights in the Community: Paralegals as Leaders in Women’s Legal Empowerment in Tanzania


Dancer, Helen. 2018. “Power and Rights in the Community: Paralegals as Leaders in Women’s Legal Empowerment in Tanzania.” Feminist Legal Studies 26 (1): 47–64.

Author: Helen Dancer


What can an analysis of power in local communities contribute to debates on women’s legal empowerment and the role of paralegals in Africa? Drawing upon theories of power and rights, and research on legal empowerment in African plural legal systems, this article explores the challenges for paralegals in facilitating women’s access to justice in Tanzania, which gave statutory recognition to paralegals in the Legal Aid Act 2017. Land conflicts represent the single-biggest source of local legal disputes in Tanzania and are often embedded in gendered land tenure relations. This article argues that paralegals can be effective actors in women’s legal empowerment where they are able to work as leaders, negotiating power relations and resisting the forms of violence that women encounter as obstacles to justice. Paralegals’ authority will be realised when their role is situated within community leadership structures, confirming their authority while preserving their independence.

Keywords: access to justice, legal pluralism, paralegals, Tanzania, women's land rights, legal empowerment

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Justice, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2018

Understanding Women's Land Rights: Gender Discrimination in Ownership


Chowdhry, Prem. 2017. Understanding Women's Land Rights: Gender Discrimination in Ownership. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.

Author: Prem Chowdhry


Table of Contents:
1. Editor's Introduction, Persisting Gender Discrimination in Land Rights
Prem Chowdhry

2. Land Rights and Land Access to Women in Andhra Pradesh
E. Revathi

3. Engendering Tribal Land Rights for Gendering the Land: A Case Study Among Apatani and Nyishi Communities
Rimi Tadu

4. Gender Issues in Landownership in Chhattisgarh: Existing Land Laws, Policies, and Practices
Ramesh Sharma

5. Women and Land Rights in the Context of Legal Propertied Equality in Goa
Ritu Dewan

6. Women Empowerment Through Landownership Rights: Critical Assessment of Their Status in Gujarat
Itishree Pattnaik

7. Gendering the Landownership Question in Jammu and Kashmir
Abha Chauhan

8. Understanding Women and Land Rights in Jharkhand
M. N. Karna

9. Land, Land Rights, and Women in Maharashtra
Ritu Dewan

10. Women's Access and Ownership of Land: A Case of Mizoram State in India
Saroj Arora

11. Gender and Land Relations in Nagaland: Emerging Issues
Khunenchu Magh

12. Persisting Inequalities: Gender and Land Rights in Rajasthan
Kanchan Mathur

13. Locating Gender in Land Rights Discourse of Sikkim
Sohel Firdos

14. Women's Land Rights in the Context of Neo-liberal Tamil Nadu
Ranjani K. Murthy

15. Gender Justice and Law: A Gender-specific Study of Landownership in Uttarakhand
Indu Pathak


Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Indigenous, Land Tenure, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan

Year: 2017

Acciones desde el Municipio de Chicontepec (Estado de Veracruz, México) para el logro de la igualdad en la tenencia de la tierra ejidal


Torres Sandoval, Imelda, y Dora Alicia Daza Ponce. 2018. “Acciones desde el Municipio de Chicontepec (Estado de Veracruz, México) para el logro de la igualdad en la tenencia de la tierra ejidal.” Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Rurales 3 (5): 139-65.

Authors: Imelda Torres Sandoval, Dora Alicia Daza Ponce


El estudio, realizado en el periodo 2011-2012,  se centró en descubrir sí las mujeres rurales en México han sido objeto de exclusión de la tenencia de la tierra como resultado de la política de Estado en materia de reforma agraria aplicada en el siglo XX en este país.
Como estado del arte, se realizó un análisis de datos de censos poblacionales del Registro Agrario Nacional y del Instituto Nacional de Geografía, Estadística e Informática, relativos a la tenencia de la tierra ejidal delimitada y asignada a sujetos de derechos agrarios a través del Programa de Certificación de Derechos Agrarios y Titulación de solares; desagregando los datos por sexo y titularidad de las parcelas para conocer el impacto de dichas políticas en el acceso de las mujeres a la tenencia de la tierra en  la zona veracruzana de la huasteca baja.
La investigación se enmarca en métodos y prácticas participativas, incluyendo los testimonios de entrevistas que se realizaron a mujeres ejidatarias y comuneras del Municipio de Chicontepec, Veracruz, para conocer sus historias de vida como titulares de derechos ejidales.
Finalmente, se reflexiona acerca del papel de los roles tradicionales de organización del trabajo en las comunidades rurales y su posible influencia para determinar el acceso y tenencia de la tierra a varones y mujeres, y se propone la puesta en marcha de acciones afirmativas para lograr la igualdad sustantiva en el acceso a la tenencia de la tierra desde el Municipio. 

Keywords: Mujeres, igualdad, tenencia de la tierra, ejido, acciones afirmativas, municipio

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2018

Territorialidad y desterritorialización en Atenco, Estado de México. Un análisis desde las mujeres


Tenango, María de los Ángeles, Verónica Vázquez García, María Eugenia Chávez Arellano, y Miguel Jorge Escalona Maurice. 2017. “Territorialidad y desterritorialización en Atenco, Estado de México. Un análisis desde las mujeres.” Clivajes: Revista de Ciencias Sociales, no. 8, 25-46.

Authors: María de los Ángeles Tenango, Verónica Vázquez García, María Eugenia Chávez Arellano, Miguel Jorge Escalona Maurice


En este texto se examina, desde la perspectiva de las mujeres, la transformación territorial de Nexquipayac y Atenco, dos de los seis ejidos que conforman el municipio de Atenco. Los datos fueron obtenidos, entre octubre de 2014 y junio de 2016, mediante observación participante, entrevistas, talleres y cuestionarios. Aquí se describe la vocación lacustre y agropecuaria de ambos ejidos, para documentar la transformación del territorio a raíz de nuevos usos ocupacionales del suelo, alteraciones del ecosistema, conflictos en torno a la tenencia de la tierra y, más recientemente, a causa de la aprobación del dominio pleno y la venta de tierras para el nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México, anunciado por Enrique Peña Nieto en septiembre de 2014. Concluye que hay una pérdida de recursos naturales y que las mujeres perciben de manera negativa las transformaciones del territorio, lo que ha dado lugar a un proceso de desterritorialización. 

Keywords: ejido, dominio pleno, aeropuerto, urbanización, territorio

Topics: Gender, Women, Land Grabbing, Land Tenure Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2017

Historia de la Tenencia de la Tierra en los Montes de María y el Papel de las Mujeres


Sierra, Denise Moreno, y Marcos De León Jaramillo. 2020. “Historia de la Tenencia de la Tierra en los Montes de María y el Papel de las Mujeres.” Enfoque de Género 1: 89-108.

Authors: Denise Moreno Sierra, Marcos De León Jaramillo


Los catastróficos efectos del conflicto armado en los Montes de María llevaron a esta co­marca a los titulares de los medios de comu­nicación durante la última década del siglo XX y la primera del siglo XXI: 56 masacres, 200.000 casos de desplazamiento forzado y 80.000 hectáreas de tierras despojadas entre 1997 y 2007 (OJEDA 2014). 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Land Tenure Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020


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