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Who Owns the Land? Gender and Land-Titling Programmes in Latin America

Full citation: Deere, C. D. and Leon, M., "Who Owns the Land? Gender and Land-Titling Programmes in Latin America," 1(3) JOURNAL OF AGRARIAN CHANGE 440 (July 2001). - The main focus of state intervention in Latin American agriculture in the 1990s was on land-titling programs, designed to promote security of tenure and enliven land markets. A review of seven of these projects suggests that they were often designed without sufficient attention to civil codes and marital regimes that protect women's property rights. They often ignored that a household's endowment of land may consist of three forms of property: the wife's, the husband's, and jointly owned property. By assuming that the family farm is owned by the male household head, these projects trampled upon women's ownership rights. Nonetheless, the share of female beneficiaries of land-titling projects has been much higher than the share of women adjudicated land under the agrarian reforms of previous decades. This is partly because the primary way that women acquire land is through inheritance, and inheritance appears to be more gender equitable than other manners of acquiring land. It is also due to the impact of the more gender-equitable agrarian legislation of the current period, itself a product of the impact of women's movements on the state. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Deere, C. D. and Leon, M.
Year:
2001

Women, Marriage and Asset Inheritance in Uganda

Full citation: Doss, C., Truong, M., Nabanoga, G. and Namaalwa, J., "Women, Marriage and Asset Inheritance in Uganda," 184 CPRC WORKING PAPER (Chronic Poverty Research Centre 2010). - The study uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative research. The first phase involved interviewing focus groups and key informants about assets held by men and women in the communities and on patterns of acquisition and social norms surrounding asset ownership and inheritance. The second phase was a household and intra-household survey. Life-history interviews were also conducted. The study found that many women gain access to land or ownership through their marital relationships. Both husbands and wives often indicate that land is owned jointly. However, rights over land differ for men and women, with women having fewer rights than men. Women do inherit land, both from their fathers and from their husbands, although it is much more common for men to inherit land. While women may successfully access land through their husbands, and may even claim ownership, these rights frequently depend on the stability of the marriage. Under most customary systems, a widow can claim land that belonged to her husband only if she has a son. The land will be inherited by the son, and the mother can continue to farm it until the son is grown-up and can claim it. Women without sons are at risk of losing access to the land, depending on their relationships with their husband’s family and the community. In spite of this arrangement, some widows have been able to maintain independent claims on land. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Uganda
Creator:
Doss, C., Truong, M., Nabanoga, G. and Namaalwa, J.
Year:
2011

Gender and Property Rights: A Critical Issue in Urban Economic Development

Full citation: Rabenhorst, C. and Bean, A., "Gender and Property Rights: A Critical Issue in Urban Economic Development," IHC PAPER (August 2011). - This paper looks at: (1) gender equality in property rights, i.e., the rights of women to participate in property use and ownership with full legal and societal protection; (2) the importance to economic development of residential and commercial property rights in urban areas; and (3) the role of women in economic development. It profiles the Tanzania Settlements Trust, which forms groups of women that advocate together and provide support for tenure and housing access. It recommends that projects make gender a focus, adequately assess political, legal, and socio-cultural factors regarding gender, and provide training to the community covering: the legal rights of women specifically, including inheritance and divorce; special problems encountered by women such as documentation, location of registration offices, access to credit; involvement of both men and women in the adjudication process and in registration of rights; and clear communication of the benefits of participation.

[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Rabenhorst, C. and Bean, A.
Year:
2011

Women's Inheritance Rights and Intergenerational Transmission of Resources in India

Full citation: Deininger, K., Goyal, A. and Nagarajan, H., "Women's Inheritance Rights and Intergenerational Transmission of Resources in India," 46 THE JOURNAL OF HUMAN RESOUCES 2 (2013). - Using inheritance patterns over three generations of individuals, this study assesses the impact of changes in the Hindu Succession Act, which grant daughters equal coparcenary birth rights in joint family property, that were denied to daughters in the past. The study shows that the amendment significantly increased daughters’ likelihood to inherit land, but that even after the amendment, substantial bias persists. There were no detectable changes before the legal amendment, with a sharp increase in land bequests to daughters occurring only after HSAA became effective. The effect persists over time, showing a modest but significant upward trend, in line with a gradual pattern of dissemination and learning. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
India
Creator:
Deininger, K., Goyal, A. and Nagarajan, H.
Year:
2013

Evaluation of Grassroots Community-Based Legal Aid Activities in Uganda and Tanzania: Strengthening Women's Legal Knowledge

This is a qualitative study of community-based legal aid programs in Uganda and Tanzania. It assesses the efficacy of legal aid activities, the challenges faced by implementing organizations, and it documents opportunities and potential for scaling–up. It finds that legal aid activities will only be successful if they also succeed at changing the mindsets and attitudes surrounding women’s rights, and that further impact evaluation should be done to determine how to improve activities. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Tanzania, Uganda
Creator:
Behrman, J., Peterman, A. and Billings, L.
Year:
2013

Gender and Land Tenure Reform

Full citation: Giovarelli, R. (2009). “Gender and Land Tenure Reform,” in ONE BILLION RISING 196 (R. Prosterman, et al. eds., Leiden U. Press). - This chapter talks about specific threats to women’s land rights. They include that it may be culturally or legally impossible for women to acquire land rights through markets, inheritance, transfer or gift; that a woman’s marital status (marriage, divorce, bride price, dowry or polygamy) may create barriers to women’s land rights; that privatization or individualization of land may result in loss of non-ownership rights that women have to land (e.g., the right to use land); and that land titling programs may fail to formalize women’s rights.

[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Giovarelli, R.
Year:
2009

The Mystery of Capital Formation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Women, Property Rights and Customary Law

Full citation: Joireman, S.F. (2008). "The Mystery of Capital Formation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Women, Property Rights and Customary Law," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1233-1246, July. - Economists such as Hernando De Soto have argued that clearly defined property rights are essential to capital formation and ultimately to economic growth and poverty alleviation. This article traces two impediments to the clear definition of property rights in the African context: customary law and the status of women. Both of these issues interfere with the attempt of African countries to rearticulate property law with the goal of capital formation. Constructive attempts to define property rights must address the problem of enforcement in under-resourced environments where changes may not be welcomed.

[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Joireman, S. F.
Year:
2008

Environmental and gender impacts of land tenure regularization in Africa: pilot evidence from Rwanda

Full citation: Ali, D.A., Deininger, K., and Goldstein, M. (2014). “Environmental and gender impacts of land tenure regularization in Africa: pilot evidence from Rwanda.” Journal of Development Economics, vol. 110, 2014, 262-275. - This paper evaluates the short-term impact (approximately 2.5 years after completion) of Rwanda’s land tenure regularization pilots. The findings included, land tenure regularization improved land access for legally married women and prompted better recordation of inheritance rights without gender bias; and for female-headed households, specifically, regularization had a very large impact on investment and maintenance of soil conservation measures. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Rwanda
Creator:
Ali, D.A., Deininger, K., and Goldstein, M.
Year:
2014

Innovations in land rights recognition, administration, and governance

Full citation: Deininger, K., Augustinus, C., Enemark, S., and Munro-Faure, P. (Eds.) (2010). “Innovations in land rights recognition, administration, and governance.” World Bank Publications. - This paper brings together a variety of studies on land rights. Chapter 4 in particular focuses on efforts to improve tenure security. One study in India examines whether changes in inheritance legislation impact the socioeconomic status of females, and found that when daughters were granted coparcenary birthrights in joint family property denied to daughters in the past, the amendment significantly increased the probability of females inheriting land. However, even after the passage of the amendment, significant bias against females persists. Another study in Ethiopia assesses the effects on the allocative efficiency of the land rental market of the low-cost approach to land registration and certification of restricted property rights that were implemented in Ethiopia from the late 1990s. Four rounds of balanced household panel data collected from 16 villages in northern Ethiopia are used. After controlling for endogeneity of land certification and unobserved household heterogeneity affecting land market participation, it was found that land certification enhanced land rental market participation of female landlord households. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Ethiopia, India
Creator:
Deininger, K., Augustinus, C., Enemark, S., and Munro-Faure, P.
Year:
2010

The paradox of gender discrimination in land ownership and women's contribution to poverty reduction in Anglophone Cameroon

Full citation: Fonjong, L., Fombe, L., & Sama-lang, I. (2013). “The paradox of gender discrimination in land ownership and women's contribution to poverty reduction in Anglophone Cameroon.” GeoJournal, 78(3), 575-589. - This study adopted a method of field work involving observations, the use of questionnaires, interviews, and focus group discussions for data collection that was able to capture key issues related to women, culture and land. The sample size of 2,205 participants included 80 % women and 20 % men from all socio-economic, political, demographic and ethnic groups. In addition to this sample, interviews were conducted and focus-group discussions held with key women, human rights NGOs and, traditional and administrative authorities in each of the localities.

The study found that land is an important factor of production for both men and women in predominantly agrarian Cameroon. While the legal framework in Cameroon advocates for equal rights and opportunities to resources, the majority of rural women who are mostly peasant farmers can neither inherit nor own land due to gender discriminatory customary practices. The findings revealed that although women are key players in the struggle against poverty who depend solely on land, they still do not have security of tenure over the land they cultivate. Specifically, land inheritance is one of the areas in which gender discrimination is still prevalent. It is deeply rooted in the socio-cultural practices of both patrilineal and matrilineal societies. In matrilineal communities like Aghen and part of Kom, where inheritance follows the female linage, the sons, and not the daughters of this linage have inheritance rights. Field investigation indicates that men and women are unanimous on the fact that current practices discriminate against women. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Cameroon
Creator:
Fonjong, L., Fombe, L., & Sama-lang, I.
Year:
2013

Towards Customary Legal Empowerment in Namibia: Enhancing gender equality in customary justice systems

Full citation: Ubink, J.M. (2011). “Towards Customary Legal Empowerment in Namibia: Enhancing gender equality in customary justice systems.” International Development Law Organisation. - In Namibia, national authorities have made various interventions aimed at enhancing the functioning of customary law and traditional leadership. These efforts include both the creation of institutional linkages as well as community-based activities. One issue has been the position of women under customary law, and especially the fact that widows often have no rights to their deceased husbands’ lands. At a workshop, the traditional leaders present unanimously decided that widows should not be chased from their lands or out of their homes and that they should not be asked to pay again for the land. The president of the country was also a proponent of the change. This research found that this statement led to positive change. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Namibia
Creator:
Ubink, J.M.
Year:
2011

Empowering Widows: An Overview of policies and programmes in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka

Full citation: UN Women. (2014). “Empowering Widows: An Overview of policies and programmes in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.”
- This paper finds that strengthening engagement with civil society in the implementation of government programs results in a more enabling environment for widows to claim services, including land rights. Focus group discussions in India and Nepal showed that widows who were a part of this collaborative effort were more articulate, confident and aware of their rights. This played an important role in helping them claim their entitlements, including land rights. In Sri Lanka, widows have been able to take advantage of government programs for capacity building and skills training due to the partnership between the government and the groups working with widows. In the process, many widows have become agents of change in their community. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India
Creator:
UN Women
Year:
2014