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Women's Land Rights and Privatization in Eastern Africa

Women's Land Rights and Privatization in Eastern Africa

Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Women's Land Rights and Privatization in Eastern Africa
    Book Description:

    This volume focuses on the impact on women's land rights from the contemporary drive towards the formulation and implementation of land tenure reforms which aim primarily at the private registration of land. It is solidly groundedin the findings from seve

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-680-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)

    Property and a piece of land give women peace of mind.¹

    This is an exciting new collection from an impressive generation of young scholars. Their Eastern African focus makes geographical, historical and thematical sense, for the countries discussed in this volume have all undergone similar land reform and privatization processes in recent years.

    It is a source of great personal pleasure that the book has drawn its inspiration from a 2003 workshop on women’s land rights in Southern and Eastern Africa which I organized with the redoubtable Kaori Izumi of FAO. Participants there asserted that women’s already fragile land rights...

  5. Introduction Women’s land rights & privatization in Eastern Africa
    (pp. 1-17)

    Land is the main resource from which millions of people in rural Africa derive their livelihoods. That women do the vast majority of work in agricultural smallholder production, producing between 60 and 80 percent of all food grown in African countries, has become a common observation – and with it the concern that most women on the continent do not hold secure rights to the land from which they derive their own and their family’s livelihood. In most African societies, a woman’s right to access and control land is still tied to her status as a daughter, sister, mother or wife....

  6. One Breathing Life into Dead Theories about Property Rights in Rural Africa Lessons from Kenya
    (pp. 18-39)

    Presumption of a direct causal link between the formalization of property rights and economic productivity is back on the international development agenda. Belief in such a direct causal relationship had been abandoned in the early 1990s, following four decades of land tenure reform experiments that failed to produce the anticipated efficiency results (Bruce & Migot-Adholla 1994; World Bank 2003). The work of Hernando de Soto has provided the springboard for this revival (de Soto 2000). De Soto argues that formal property rights hold the key to poverty reduction by unlocking the capital potential of assets held informally by poor people....

  7. Two ‘Go Home & Clear the Conflict’ Human rights perspectives on gender & land in Tanzania
    (pp. 40-60)

    This chapter discusses human rights perspectives on gender and privatization of land rights, drawing on examples from Tanzania. While a substantial segment of the donor community support a human rights-based approach to development (HRBA), neo-liberal discourse on economic development often determines the outcome of policy making (see Nyamu-Musembi in this volume). In the context of land reform, human rights norms may provide an additional source of arguments which can be used to balance proposals for law reform stemming from the neo-liberal economic approach and aimed at individualising and registering land rights. The dynamic relationship between the two approaches necessitates consideration...

  8. Three Gender, Uenyeji, Wealth, Confidence & Land in Kinyanambo The impact of commoditization, rural–urban change & land registration in Mufundi District, Tanzania
    (pp. 61-82)

    In 1999 and 2000, just as the government passed its new Land Act and Village Land Act (in legal force since May 2001 (Alden Wily 2003, 13), I carried out fieldwork on changing land tenure practices in Kinyanambo village, Mufindi District (Iringa Region), in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania.² Kinyanambo is located in the north-eastern part of the Mufindi Plateau (1700m to 2000m in altitude, 950mm annual rainfall (MDC 1997, 9-13)) and lies along the Tanzam highway, which links Dar-es-Salaam to Zambia, immediately north of the district’s capital, Mafinga town. The area has experienced rapid change since Mafinga was first...

  9. Four Changing Land Rights & Gendered Discourses Examples from the Uluguru Mountains Tanzania
    (pp. 83-100)

    This chapter aims to complement the detailed analysis of land markets in Iringa Region by Elizabeth Daley in the preceding chapter in two ways: through a discussion of women’s rights to land in the context of a changing matrilineal/matrilocal framework and a focus on gendered attitudes towards titles as collateral. It aims to show how women as well as men are taking advantage of the flexibility of what is termed the ‘customary system’ to pursue their rights to land. It is argued that the assumed benefits of land titles – enhanced tenure security, creation of a land market, use of land...

  10. Five Falling Between Two Stools How women’s land rights are lost between state & customary law in Apac District, Northern Uganda
    (pp. 101-120)

    As in other countries in Africa, there are two parallel and competing histories of land tenure in Uganda. The indigenous systems evolved to suit the needs of different local groups, or at least certain elite members in those groups, in a variety of different ecological and economic circumstances. They worked on rules which have never been written down, making it easy for outsiders to consider all these systems as ‘customary tenure’ a single, unchanging system of rules and administration. Another, written, history began with British colonialism. The British introduced a system of freehold title under which client chiefs and kingdoms...

  11. Six Struggling with In-Laws & Corruption in Kombewa Division, Kenya The impact of HIV/AIDS on widows’ & orphans’ land rights
    (pp. 121-137)

    In Africa, access to, ownership of and control over land is a fundamental determinant for secure livelihoods, especially for the rural poor. Land provides a secure place to live, a site for economic and social security, and can serve as collateral for credit and other resources. In the last two decades, HIV/AIDS has been responsible for the weakening of rural economic safety nets and depletion of assets, chief amongst them being land. AIDS leaves many relatively young widows and orphans behind and the specific manner in which HIV/AIDS impoverishes households means that, upon finding herself a widow, a woman has...

  12. Seven Women & Land Arrangements in Rwanda A gender-based analysis of access to natural resources
    (pp. 138-157)

    After a long process of drafting and negotiations, the government of Rwanda recently adopted a new land policy and a related land law¹ that seek to formalize land rights through official titling. The stated overall objectives of the land law, ‘sustainable economic development’ and ‘social welfare’ (see article 3 of the land law), are to be realized through rural economic transformation, increasing productivity, land consolidation,² commercialisation of agriculture, specialization and grouped settlements (imidugudu).³ Whereas the new land law has already been assessed for its likely impact upon conflict prevention (see Musahara & Huggins 2004), so far no in-depth analysis has...

  13. Afterword Securing women’s land rights
    (pp. 158-175)
    ELIZABETH DALEY, BIRGIT ENGLERT, Judy Adoko, An Ansoms, Nathalie Holvoet, Ingunn Ikdahl, Simone Levine, Celestine Nyamu-Musembi and Samwel Ong’wen Okuro

    With this book we have tried to offer a nuanced picture of how the issues of privatization, gender relations and land rights are currently interacting in Eastern Africa as a contribution to the debate on how women’s rights can best be secured in the overarching context of the increasing ‘privatization’ of land tenure. The detailed and differentiated analysis of what is happening on the ground that has been presented herein points up once more the continuing invalidity of some of the more common assumptions about women’s rights to land in Eastern Africa, and the limits to securing them through policy...

  14. Index
    (pp. 176-179)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 180-181)