Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Property Rights

Examining Gender Inequalities in Land Rights Indicators in Asia

Citation:

Kieran, Caitlin, Kathryn Sproule, Cheryl Doss, Agnes Quisumbing, and Sung Mi Kim. 2015. "Examining Gender Inequalities in Land Rights Indicators in Asia." Agricultural Economics 46 (S1): 119-38.

Authors: Caitlin Kieran, Kathryn Sproule, Cheryl Doss, Agnes Quisumbing, Sung Mi Kim

Abstract:

A broad consensus has emerged that strengthening women’s property rights is crucial for reducing poverty and achieving equitable growth. Despite its importance, few nationally representative data exist on women’s property rights in Asia, hindering formulation of appropriate policies to reduce gender gaps in land rights. This paper reviews existing micro-level, large sample data on men’s and women’s control of land, using this information to assess gaps in land rights. Utilizing nationally representative individual- and plot-level data from Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Vietnam, and TimorLeste, we calculate five indicators:  incidence of landownership and distribution of landownership by sex, and distribution of plots owned, mean plot size, and distribution of land area, all by sex of owner. The results reveal large gender gaps in landownership across countries. However, the limited information on joint and individual ownership are among the most critical data gaps and are an important area for future data collection and analysis.

Keywords: gender, land rights, property ownership, bundles of rights, Asia

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia Countries: Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Vietnam

Year: 2015

Land Grabbing, Social Differentiation, Intensified Migration and Food Security in Northern Ghana

Citation:

Nyantakyi-Frimpong, Hanson, and Rachel Bezner Kerr. 2017. “Land Grabbing, Social Differentiation, Intensified Migration and Food Security in Northern Ghana.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 44 (2): 421-44.

Authors: Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong, Rachel Bezner Kerr

Abstract:

This paper argues that large-scale land appropriation is displacing subsistence farmers and reworking agrarian social relations in northern Ghana. The recent wave of farmland enclosure has not only resulted in heightened land scarcity, but also fostered a marked social differentiation within farming communities. The dominant form of inequality is an evolving class of landless and near-landless farmers. The majority of households cope with such dynamics by deepening their own self-exploitation in the production process. The fulcrum of this self-exploitation is gendered property rights as part of the conjugal contract, with men exerting a far greater monopoly over land resources than had previously been the case. Due to acute land shortages, women’s rights to use land as wives, mothers and daughters are becoming insecure, as their vegetable plots are being reclassified as male-controlled household fields. The paper further documents the painful choices that landless farmers have to make in order to meet livelihood needs, including highly disciplined, yet low-waged, farm labor work and sharecropping contracts. In these livelihood pathways, there emerge, again, exploitative relations of production, whereby surplus is expropriated from land- dispossessed migrant laborers and concentrated with farm owners. These dynamics produce a ‘simple reproduction squeeze’ for the land-dispossessed. Overall, the paper contributes to the emerging land grabbing literature by showing geographically specific processes of change for large-scale mining operations and gendered differentiated impacts. 

Keywords: land grabbing, gender relations, peasant class differentiation, food security, Ghana

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Households, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2017

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: Agriculture, 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: Agriculture, 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, Security, Food Security

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

Property Rights and the Gender Distribution of Wealth in Ecuador, Ghana and India

Citation:

Deere, Carmen Diana, Abena D. Oduro, Hema Swaminathan, and Cheryl Doss. 2013. “Property Rights and the Gender Distribution of Wealth in Ecuador, Ghana and India.” Journal of Economic Inequality 11 (2): 249–65.

Authors: Cheryl Doss, Carmen Diana Deere, Abena D. Oduro, Hema Swaminathan

Abstract:

Women’s ability to accumulate wealth is often attributed to whether they have property rights; i.e., a legal personality to own and manage property. In this paper we argue that basic property rights are insufficient; whether women are able to accumulate wealth also depends upon the marital and inheritance regimes in particular contexts. Drawing upon surveys which collected individual level ownership data in Ecuador, Ghana and the state of Karnataka in India, we estimate married women’s share of couple wealth and relate it to how assets are owned within marriage as well as to different inheritance regimes and practices. In Ecuador, married women own 44 %, in Ghana, 19 %, and in Karnataka, 9 % of couple wealth. Ecuador is characterized by the partial community property regime in marriage while inheritance laws provide for all children, irrespective of sex, to be treated equally, norms that are largely followed in practice. In contrast, Ghana and India are characterized by the separation of property regime which does not recognize wives’ contribution to the formation of marital property, and by inheritance practices that are strongly male biased. Reforming marital and inheritance regimes must remain a top priority if gender economic equality is to be attained.

Keywords: inheritance regimes, marital regimes, women's property rights, asset ownership, wealth in developing countries

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Ecuador, Ghana, India

Year: 2013

Pages

© 2019 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 - Property Rights