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Property Rights

Vulnerabilities and Inequalities Experienced by Women in the Climate Change Discourse in South Africa’s Rural Communities: Implications for Social Work

Citation:

Nyahunda, Louis, Jabulani Calvin Makhubele, Vincent Mabvurira, and Frans Koketso Matlakala. 2020. “Vulnerabilities and Inequalities Experienced by Women in the Climate Change Discourse in South Africa’s Rural Communities: Implications for Social Work.” The British Journal of Social Work. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcaa118.

Authors: Louis Nyahunda, Jabulani Calvin Makhubele, Vincent Mabvurira, Frans Koketso Matlakala

Abstract:

Women’s vulnerability to climate-induced shocks hinges on a high dependence on climate-sensitive livelihoods and a natural resource base aggravated by the acute inequalities that they experience due to patriarchal dominance. This article’s purpose is to unpack the vulnerabilities and inequalities that rural women experience in the climate change terrain which necessitates the involvement of the social work profession. This study adopted a qualitative methodology guided by a multi-case study design. A sample of twenty-five participants, including community members and social workers, participated in the study. These participants were selected through simple purposive and convenient sampling techniques. Data were collected using focus group discussions and individual interviews. The thematic content analysis was followed to analyse the findings. The study established that rural women are impacted by various vulnerabilities and inequalities in the climate change discourse, which serve as barriers to their effective adaptation. The vulnerabilities and inequalities manifest through lack of land and property rights, discrimination from decision-making processes, poverty and lack of adequate knowledge about climate change mitigation and adaptation. Social work involvement to address these catastrophes is scant in the Vhembe district in Limpopo province, South Africa. The study recommends that all climate change interventions should put an end to inequalities women experience in order for them to be effective and social workers should be at the frontline of such initiative.

Keywords: climate change, Inequalities, rural women, social work, Vhembe district, vulnerabilities

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

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

Gender Inequalities in Ownership and Control of Land in Africa: Myth and Reality

Citation:

Doss, Cheryl, Chiara Kovarik, Amber Peterman, Agnes Quisumbing, and Mara van den Bold. 2015. “Gender Inequalities in Ownership and Control of Land in Africa: Myth and Reality.” Agricultural Economics 46 (3): 403–34.

Authors: Cheryl Doss, Chiara Kovarik, Amber Peterman, Agnes Quisumbing, Mara van den Bold

Abstract:

Lack of clarity behind measurement and interpretation of statistics on gender and land leads to an inability to clearly articulate a policy response to the potential inequalities faced by women and men. This article sets out to explore, conceptually and empirically, the levels and relative inequalities in land rights between women and men in African countries. The first section of the article engages in a conceptual discussion of how to measure gendered-land outcomes, what ownership and control mean in different contexts, and why attention to these factors is important for the development of gender and land statistics. The second section of the article systematically reviews existing evidence from microlevel large sample studies to summarize recent trends in land access, ownership, and control by sex. The third section presents new statistics from a variety of nationally representative and large-scale unpublished data on gender and land in Africa. Results provide not only a nuanced understanding of the importance of measuring land indicators for gendered development in Africa and globally but also new statistics on a variety of land outcomes to aid stakeholders in the discussion of gender-land inequalities.

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

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2015

Can Integrated Agriculture-Nutrition Programmes Change Gender Norms on Land and Asset Ownership? Evidence from Burkina Faso

Citation:

Van den Bold, Mara, Andrew Dillon, Deanna Olney, Marcellin Ouedraogo, Abdoulaye Pedehombga, and Agnes Quisumbing. 2015. “Can Integrated Agriculture-Nutrition Programmes Change Gender Norms on Land and Asset Ownership? Evidence from Burkina Faso.” The Journal of Development Studies 51 (9): 1155–74.

Authors: Mara Van den Bold, Andrew Dillon, Deanna Olne, Marcellin Ouedraogo, Abdoulaye Pedehombga, Agnes Quisumbing

Abstract:

This article uses a mixed-methods approach to analyse the impact of an integrated agriculture and nutrition programme in Burkina Faso on women’s and men’s assets, and norms regarding ownership, use and control of assets. We use a cluster-randomised controlled trial to determine whether productive asset transfers and increased income-generating opportunities for women increase women’s assets over time. Qualitative work on gender norms finds that although men still own and control most assets, women have greater decision-making power and control over home gardens and their produce, and attitudes towards women owning property have become more favourable in treatment areas.

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso

Year: 2015

Agrarian Transformation(s) in Africa: What’s in It for Women in Rural Africa?

Citation:

Nyambura, Ruth. 2015. “Agrarian Transformation(s) in Africa: What’s in It for Women in Rural Africa?” Development 58: 306–13.

Author: Ruth Nyambura

Abstract:

Africa is undergoing agrarian transformation(s) characterized primarily by policy formulations at both regional and national levels that are primarily pushing for large-scale commercial agriculture, fragmented and excessive individual property rights and Foreign Direct Investments from multinational agribusiness companies. While rural African women in particular are posited as the main beneficiaries of these policies, the picture emerging is that of the privatization of the commons, privileging international, and to some extent local, private commercial agribusiness interests over those of smallholder farmers, mostly women, and promoting the rapid destruction of ecosystems and the increase in conflicts and displacements affecting the rural poor.

Topics: Agriculture, Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Privatization, Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2015

The Gender Agenda: NGOs and Capitalist Relations in Highland Cambodia

Citation:

Frewer, Tim. 2017. “The Gender Agenda: NGOs and Capitalist Relations in Highland Cambodia.” Critical Asian Studies 49 (2): 163-86. 

Author: Tim Frewer

Abstract:

Cambodia’s mountainous northeastern province of Ratanakiri, which only twenty years ago was home to mainly indigenous minority groups largely focused on subsistence production, has undergone rapid ecological, social, and economic transformation. Deforestation and land alienation in the context of large-scale plantation agriculture, land speculation, and smallholder cash cropping have led to concerns that indigenous communities are being alienated from their land and not benefitting from economic changes. This has resulted in a significant number of NGO and government programs that attempt to protect and “empower” indigenous people, particularly women. This article examines a one-year research project which explored the relationship between indigenous women and land change in two indigenous villages. It discusses how indigenous women as well as Khmer and landless Cham immigrants have dealt with the commoditization of land and labor. It focuses on the differentiated way capitalist relations have pushed men, women, landless laborers, and increasingly wealthy landowners on increasingly divergent life trajectories. Compelled by donors to focus on gender and indigenous women as an object of governance, the NGO that directed this project struggled to keep up with the realities of capitalist relations on the ground.

Keywords: land use change, critical development, frontiers, NGOs, indigeneity

Topics: Gender, Women, Indigenous, NGOs, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia

Year: 2017

Does Land Ownership Make a Difference? Women's Roles in Agriculture in Kerala, India

Citation:

Arun, Shoba. 1999. "Does Land Ownership Make a Difference? Women's Roles in Agriculture in Kerala, India." Gender and Development 7 (3): 19-27. 

Author: Shoba Arun

Abstract:

Women who own land may still lack control over it. Despite claims that women enjoy high status in Kerala, economic, social, and cultural factors interact to reinforce gender differences in ownership, control over, and access to critical agricultural resources, including land.

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 1999

Does Women’s Land Ownership Promote Their Empowerment? Empirical Evidence from Nepal

Citation:

Mishra, Khushbu, and Abdoul G. Sam. 2016. “Does Women’s Land Ownership Promote Their Empowerment? Empirical Evidence from Nepal.” World Development 78: 360–71.

Authors: Khushbu Mishra , Abdoul G. Sam

Keywords: gender, land ownership, empowerment, household decision making, Nepal, South Asia

Annotation:

Summary:
Land rights equity is seen as an important tool for increasing empowerment and economic welfare for women in developing countries. Accordingly, the objective of this paper is to empirically examine the role of women’s land ownership, either alone or jointly, as a means of improving their intra-household bargaining power in the areas of own healthcare, major household purchases, and visiting family or relatives. Using the 2001 and 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys and relevant econometric techniques, we find that land ownership has a positive and significant impact on women’s empowerment. In particular, we find two important patterns of results. First, accounting for the endogeneity of land ownership with inverse probability weighting, coarsened exact matching and instrumental variable methods makes its impact on empowerment higher. Previous research in this area had largely ignored the potential endogeneity of land ownership. Second, the impact is generally stronger in 2011 than in 2001. As evidenced in a number of empirical studies, the increase in women’s bargaining power can in turn translate into a redirection of resources toward women’s preferences, including higher investment in human capital of the household such as education, health, and nutrition. Therefore, our study indicates that in places where agriculture is the main source of economy for women, policies enhancing land rights equity have the potential to increase women’s empowerment and associated beneficial welfare effects. (Summary from original source)
 

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Health, Households, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2016

Patriarchy and Property Rights among Yoruba Women in Nigeria

Citation:

Aluko, Yetunde A. 2015. “Patriarchy and Property Rights among Yoruba Women in Nigeria.” Feminist Economics 21 (3): 56-81.

Author: Yetunde A. Aluko

Abstract:

In most patriarchal societies, women’s property rights are often achieved vicariously, usually through their husbands. By contrast, among the Yoruba of Nigeria, women have some levels of autonomy and independence such that they can accumulate property to which their husbands have no claim, yet they customarily do not have any inheritance right to their husbands’ property. This study examines how this gender-equitable property rights regime affects gender relations at the household and societal levels through in-depth interviews conducted in 2012 with fifty-six purposively selected women property owners who lived in urban Ibadan, Nigeria. Findings include that though economic power has improved the status of the women and contributes to development of their communities, it has not yet translated into equity in decision making. More than economic power is required to attain equality. The capability of defining goals and acting upon them is also critical.

Keywords: patriarchy, Property Rights, Yoruba women, development, Nigeria

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Households, Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2015

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