Property Rights

Mujeres rurales y nueva ruralidad en Colombia


Farah, María Adelaida, and Edelmira Pérez. 2004. “Mujeres rurales y nueva ruralidad en Colombia.” Cuadernos del Desarrollo Rural, no. 51, 137–60.

Authors: María Adelaida Farah, Edelmira Pérez


En el mundo rural de hoy se están presentando muchas transformaciones que forman parte de lo que se denomina la nueva ruralidad, en la cual la dimensión de género es importante. Este escrito pretende hacer una aproximación a la temática de las mujeres rurales y la nueva ruralidad, utilizando resultados de la investigación “Pobreza rural y trabajo femenino en Colombia” realizada, por las autoras, en dos departamentos rurales pobres de Colombia. En el presente artículo se hará énfasis en la articulación de las mujeres a las actividades productivas, reproductivas y comunitarias, en los nuevos roles que han asumido hombres y mujeres en la última década, en la propiedad y toma de decisiones en cuanto a tierra y animales, en los movimientos de población urbano - rural y rural - urbano, en los cambios en las condiciones de vida rurales, y en cómo muchas de estas características y transformaciones evidencia la existencia de una nueva ruralidad. 
In today’s rural world, a lot of transformations are taking place which are part of what is called new rurality, where genre dimension is important. This paper attempts to approach rural women and the new rurality by using the results from a research study called “Rural Poverty and Women’s Work in Colombia”, which was carried out in two poor rural departments in Colombia. It will emphasize women’s participation in productive, reproductive and community activities; new men’s and women’s roles in last decade; property and decision-making processes regarding land and animals; population movement from urban to rural areas and vice versa; changes in rural life conditions; and how these characteristics and transformations show the existence of a new rurality. 

Keywords: nueva ruralidad, mujeres rurales, Desarrollo rural, gênero, new rurality, rural women, rural development, genre

Topics: Development, Gender, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2004

Ejidatarias, posesionarias, avecindadas. Mujeres frente a sus derechos de propiedad en tierras ejidales de México


Almeida, Elsa. 2012. “Ejidatarias, posesionarias, avecindadas. Mujeres frente a sus derechos de propiedad en tierras ejidales de México.” Estudios Agrarios 18 (52): 13–57.

Author: Elsa Almeida

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

Year: 2012

La copropiedad de tierra de las mujeres en Guatemala


Aguilar, Yolanda, Luis Alberto de León, and Ángel Roberto Santos. 2003. “La copropiedad de tierra de las mujeres en Guatemala.” eStudios: 123–44.

Authors: Yolanda Aguilar, Luis Alberto de León, Ángel Roberto Santos

Topics: Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2003

The Role of Land Tenure Security in Promoting Rural Women’s Empowerment: Empirical Evidence from Rural China


Han, Wenjing, Xiaoling Zhang, and Zhengfeng Zhang. 2019. “The Role of Land Tenure Security in Promoting Rural Women’s Empowerment: Empirical Evidence from Rural China.” Land Use Policy 86 (July): 280–89. 

Authors: Wenjing Han, Xiaoling Zhang, Zhengfeng Zhang


The empirical evidence from developing countries suggests that land tenure equity can be regarded as a means of promoting development by empowering women. Despite current prime laws and regulations having provided the basis for rural women to enjoy equal land rights, village rules and regulations and various informal customs have adversely affected their land tenure security under the unique villagers’ autonomy political system in rural China. Chinese rural women land tenure is therefore subject to considerable discrimination and is highly insecure due to the greater risks involved compared to those faced by men. Being entitled to land ownership does not mean women’s land tenure is secure, an issue that has received little attention to date. Accordingly, this paper aims to empirically examine whether women’s tenure security, legal tenure security, de facto tenure security, or economic tenure security can provide a means of improving their level of autonomy in household decision-making (used to characterize women's empowerment) in such areas as house purchases, durable goods purchases, daily necessities purchases, fertility choice, medicalcare choice, job choice, and social interaction choice. Using 2017 survey data (6073 samples) obtained for 28 provinces of rural China and employing the Tobit model for the analysis, we find that the formal title certificate is a prerequisite for realizing legal land tenure security; the risk of land expropriation and tenure disputes exacerbates the insecurity of land tenure at the de facto level; and that access to land circulation income can enhance land economic tenure security and has a significantly positive effect on women’s empowerment. Moreover, we highlight the potential adverse effects of rapid urbanization on rural women’s empowerment, which might further widen the rural gender gap. Our study indicates that policies enhancing land tenure security have the potential to increase women’s empowerment and associated beneficial welfare effects on the development of women’s rights, family, the rural economy, and also contributes to narrowing the gender opportunity gap within households.

Keywords: land tenure security, women's empowerment, Rural China

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2019

Women’s Land Tenure Security in Sustainable Development


Gebremedhin, Kidu, Yechale Kebede, Vanum Govindu, Desta Luel Tsegay, and Mearg Dagnew. 2019. “Women’s Land Tenure Security in Sustainable Development.” Journal of Production Research & Management 9 (1): 21–30.

Authors: Kidu Gebremedhin, Yechale Kebede, Vanum Govindu, Desta Luel Tsegay, Mearg Dagnew


Appropriate land ownership policy is critical issue in order for vast majority of population living in rural areas whose income is dependent on agricultural. For that land tenure security is momentous concern. Land tenure is Latin word, tenure, which means to hold. Thus, land tenure means a kind of system of land ownership or holding the land. The rules of the land tenure system define how property rights to land are to be allocated within societies. Land tenure security can increase farming productivity through an increased allocate efficiency, which reduces the problem of lack of credit faced by farmers with tenure insecurity. Security of tenure for women and men, so that they can make productive and sustainable use the land for different purposes, equitable access to land for subsistence, commercial and settlement uses, and the need to achieve a sustainable balance in between these. This research is engaged with the land tenure security which incorporates gender analysis based to ensure that particular constraints faced by women which are not overlooked and survey the contribution of women’s land ownership in sustainable development. For this study, data were collected from the selected offices namely, Health, Environmental Protection and Land Administration and Use, Female affairs, Agriculture, Finance and Education in Hawzen Woreda, Tigray. Both primary and secondary data sources were used. Questionnaires, interview, documentation and field survey were the methods conveyed. The collected data were analyzed through SPSS and Excel software and were interpreted qualitatively and quantitatively. Results show that majority of land owners are women either with her husband or women only. Hence gender equality access to land is intensively reformed in the Woreda which is extremely important for sustainable development and natural resources management. Land tenure security of women is critically important to get access of credit, complementary services, improve access to education services and improve access to health services. So these are enhancements in women's education and health which reduce women's poverty and enhance their economic and social status and, in turn, strengthen women's rights to land and their contributions to productivity and environmental management.

Keywords: tenure security, women, sustainable, Ethiopia


Topics: Agriculture, Development, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2019

Women, Land and Empowerment in Rwanda


Abbott, Pamela, Roger Mugisha and Roger Sapsford. 2018. “Women, Land and Empowerment in Rwanda.” Journal of International Development 30: 1006–22.

Authors: Pamela Abbott, Roger Mugisha, Roger Sapsford


Rwanda has recently registered all legal owners of land and has required spouses to be registered as co-owners of joint property; this is aimed at contributing to the empowerment of women, among many other things. A 2015 survey explored the impact of law and official practice on women’s empowerment—whether they knew their rights and whether they could claim them. The conclusion is that there has indeed been some impact. The problems of women’s subordination remain, however, given patriarchal attitudes, unequally shared decision-making and a tension between Rwanda’s espousal of the rule of law on the one hand and the principle of dialogue and consensus on the other. Moreover, the position of a substantial proportion of women in unregistered domestic partnerships has not changed.

Keywords: Land Tenure Regularisation, inheritance, women's empowerment, Rwanda, patriarchy, consensus governance


Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2018

The Convergence of HIV/AIDS and Customary Tenure on Women’s Access to Land in Rural Malawi


Tschirharta, Naomi, Lucky Kabangab and Sue Nichol. 2015. “The Convergence of HIV/AIDS and Customary Tenure on Women’s Access to Land in Rural Malawi.” SAHARA-J: Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS 12 (1): 134-46.

Authors: Naomi Tschirharta, Lucky Kabangab, Sue Nichol


This paper examines the convergence of HIV/AIDS and the social processes through which women access customary land in rural Malawi. Data were collected from focus group discussions with women in patrilineal and matrilineal communities. Women’s land tenure is primarily determined through kinship group membership, customary inheritance practices and location of residence. In patrilineal communities, land is inherited through the male lineage and women access land through relationships with male members who are the rightful heirs. Conversely in matrilineal matrilocal communities, women as daughters directly inherit the land. This research found that in patrilineal communities, HIV/AIDS, gendered inequalities embedded in customary inheritance practices and resource shortages combine to affect women’s access to land. HIV/AIDS may cause the termination of a woman’s relationship with the access individual due to stigma or the individual’s death. Termination of such relationships increases tenure insecurity for women accessing land in a community where they do not have inheritance rights. In contrast to the patrilineal patrilocal experience, research on matrilineal matrilocal communities demonstrates that where women are the inheritors of the land and have robust land tenure rights, they are not at risk of losing their access to land due to HIV/AIDS.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, land rights, women, customary, matrilineal, patrilineal, Droits de la terre, VIH/sida, coutumier, femmes, matrilinéaires, patrilinéaires


Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Health, HIV/AIDS, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2015

Filling the Legal Void? Impacts of a Community-Based Legal Aid Program on Women’s Land-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices


Mueller, Valerie, Lucy Billings, Tewodaj Mogues, Amber Peterman, and Ayala Wineman. 2018. “Filling the Legal Void? Impacts of a Community-Based Legal Aid Program on Women’s Land-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices.” Oxford Development Studies 46 (4): 453–69.

Authors: Valerie Mueller, Lucy Billings , Tewodaj Mogues, Amber Peterman, Ayala Wineman


Securing women’s property rights improves overall welfare. While governments in Africa often make provisions for gender-equal legal rights, the dichotomy between de jure and customary practices remains. Community-based legal aid (CBLA) has been promoted to address this chasm through provision of free legal aid and education. We evaluate a one-year CBLA program in Tanzania using a randomized controlled trial. Results show women in treatment communities had higher exposure to legal services and increased their legal knowledge. Women who had access to a trained voluntary paralegal experienced a 0.31 standard deviation increase in a legal service index, and a 0.20 standard deviation increase in an index documenting their knowledge of land-related regulations. These changes were, however, insufficient to shift women’s attitudes or result in more favorable gendered land practices. Estimates by village size and progressiveness reveal that transaction costs and social context influence program success.

Topics: Education, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2018

Financialization, Resistance, and the Question of Women’s Land Rights


Collins, Andrea M. 2018. "Financialization, Resistance, and the Question of Women’s Land Rights." International Feminist Journal of Politics 21 (3): 454- 76.

Author: Andrea M. Collins


The financialization of food and agricultural land has been a critical driver of the “land-grabbing” phenomenon in the post 2007–2008 period: the potential for land to be both a productive and financial asset has driven interest in long term land rentals and sales. Scholars and activists have highlighted the negative effects of these trends for rural populations. International institutions have promoted the recognition of land rights as a means to secure land from seizure, ensure equal participation in land acquisitions, and enable low income populations, including women, to access credit. At the same time, activists are promoting collective land rights, customary modes of land tenure and the rights of Indigenous peoples. For activists, land reform models that promote the collective rights of peoples to govern land are critical to resisting individualized land ownership models that encourage the alienation of land. This article reviews these rights-based frameworks using a critical feminist perspective and argues that both the institutionalist and activist approaches require more nuanced understandings of gender and difference in order to effect gender-equitable change. This article concludes by mapping new feminist research directions that consider land and resources within the context of local–global processes, the global economy, intersectionality and global rights-based discourses.

Keywords: land governance, gender, food sovereignty, collective rights, international institutions

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Indigenous, International Organizations, Land Grabbing, Land Tenure, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights

Year: 2018

Extractives vs Development Sovereignty: Building Living Consent Rights for African Women


The WoMin Collective. 2017. “Extractives vs Development Sovereignty: Building Living Consent Rights for African Women.” Gender & Development 25 (3): 421-37.

Author: The WoMin Collective


This article focuses on the right of consent for women and their communities in respect of extractives and large-scale (or ‘mega’) infrastructure projects that affect their access to, and control over, land and natural resources indispensable to their lives and livelihoods. As we point out, the right of consent is determined by prevailing deeply unequal power structures. Poor women confront a double exclusion from power and decision-making about land and resource use – on the basis of both their class and gender. The political economy of power and vested interest surrounding these projects at all levels from the community to the international spheres mean that communities, and women within them, rarely enjoy the right of consent on a free, prior, informed, and ongoing basis. In addition, women are locked out of rights of land ownership in communities living under common property and this, combined with other patriarchal power relations in family and community, inhibits their voice and influence in community decision-making. This is the second exclusion they suffer, this time on the basis of their gender. Consent, even if legislated or institutionalised in policy and systems of state, corporate, or multilateral bodies is rarely granted but rather won through struggle and demand. The article will present an inspiring case in the South African context where unequal power has been inverted and a unique community, with women playing a leading role, has claimed the right of consent in practice through struggle. It concludes with some suggestions for the work needed to strengthen women’s rights of consent in respect of mega ‘development’ projects in Africa.

Keywords: resource extraction, land, Rights, women, gender, inequality, consent, development, exclusion, social struggle

Topics: Class, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2017


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