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Married Women's Rights to Land in China's Traditional Farming Areas

Full Citation: Li, Y. and Yin-Sheng, X., "Married Women's Rights to Land in China's Traditional Farming Areas," 15(49) JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY CHINA 621 (2006). - This paper focuses on women’s land rights in their maiden village in traditional farming areas, and shows, based on an analysis of a case study combined with a questionnaire survey, that married women’s land rights tend to be retained in their parent’s village with the implementation of new policy and land contract laws, but that they have almost no rights in their maiden families after marriage, due to the influence of traditional marriage notions and customs. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
China
Creator:
Li, Y. and Yin-Sheng, X.
Year:
2006

Women and Land: Securing Rights for Better Lives

Full citation: Budlender, D. and Alma, E., "Women and Land: Securing Rights for Better Lives," IDRC PAPERS (November 2011). - This book focuses on recent findings from sub Saharan Africa on women and land. It finds:
• Participation-oriented research methods are much more likely to bring about immediate benefits than other, more traditional research methods.
• Merely passing legislation is of little effect without the necessary resources for implementation, without informing and educating all relevant actors on the provisions of the legislation, without monitoring the reforms, and without effective sanctions on failure to implement.
• It is crucial both to consult and involve women when designing reforms and monitoring their implementation.
• Women’s access to land does not simply hinge on a choice between customary and statutory systems. Rather, we are faced with a more complex question of how the two systems interact and are used by different groups of women and men. The research also emphasizes the need to think about customary law as “living” and evolving.
• Addressing land injustices requires varied approaches that streamline and consolidate numerous land laws in a given country. It is vital to establish and maintain links among research, policy, practice, and people.
• The importance of providing teaching and training in a variety of disciplines for a young generation of women in Africa cannot be overstated.

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

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Colombia, Pakistan, Malawi, Senegal, Cameroon
Creator:
Budlender, D. and Alma, E
Year:
2011

Accessing Justice: Models, Strategies and Best Practices on Women's Empowerment

Full citation: IDLO, "Accessing Justice: Models, Strategies and Best Practices on Women's Empowerment," IDLO REPORT (2013). - This paper highlights some of the challenges and solutions for women’s access to justice in diverse legal systems. It shows that women face structural and cultural barriers to accessing justice – insufficient knowledge of rights and remedies, illiteracy or poor literacy, and lack of resources or time to participate in justice processes. This is all the more so as women usually have intensive family responsibilities. Even where women can access the formal justice sector, the outcomes of the process often fall far short of those envisaged by international standards, particularly with regard to property rights, inheritance, divorce and child custody, and spousal abuse. Focusing on legal empowerment as a way to improve both access to justice and the quality of justice women receive, the study presents strategies and best practices in both formal and informal justice systems. Legal empowerment approaches share one core concept: using the law to enable disadvantaged groups to access justice and realize basic rights. They include legal education; legal aid services; support for non-discriminatory dispute resolution fora to complement or supplement informal systems; training of paralegals; and rights awareness. In considering whether such approaches can improve the quality of justice women receive, Accessing Justice brings together a number of IDLO-sponsored case studies in Afghanistan, India, Namibia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Morocco, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. These highlight a variety of lessons for development practitioners, both in terms of engagement with the informal legal sector and, more generally, for the use of legal empowerment and top-down / bottom-up strategies. In an appropriate context, carefully designed legal empowerment strategies may constitute a valuable contribution to improving women’s access to justice.
[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Afghanistan, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Rwanda, India
Creator:
IDLO
Year:
2013

Liberalisation and the Debates on Women’s Access to Land

Full citation: Razavi, S., "Liberalisation and the Debates on Women's Access to Land," 28(8) THIRD WORLD QUARTERLY 1479 (December 2007). - This article focuses on the tensions and ambiguities that may keep women from effectively accessing land. Barriers include liberalization policies that focus on “family farming,” customary land tenure systems, and decentralization of land management. Women’s rights advocates fear that these can be manipulated by groups hostile to women’s rights.

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

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Razavi, S.
Year:
2007

Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa

Full citation: Hallward-Driemeier, M. and Hasan, T. (2012). “Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa.” Africa Development Forum Series, World Bank, Washington, DC. - This paper finds that out of forty-three African jurisdictions twenty-two formally recognize males as the head of the household, giving them sole discretion to represent the household and make household decisions. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Hallward-Driemeier, M. and Hasan, T.
Year:
2012

Land Tenure Rights for Women Under Customary Law

Full citation: Benbih, K. and Katz, J. (2014). “Land Tenure Rights for Women Under Customary Law.” - This paper highlights women’s rights issues in accessing land under dual systems. The goal is to make the knowledge resulting from the use of a platform, such as the Global Housing Policy Indicators (GHI), accessible on an open source to all land specialists, NGOs, policy makers, governmental agencies, as well as a global audience, including women around the world. The cases presented illustrate various difficulties to secure land tenure for women. The GHI assessment tool finds first hand evidence of the discrepancies between constitutional laws that are mostly gender neutral and the set of unspoken social norms or customary laws that discriminate against women, by way of practices restricting women’s ability to own, inherit or individually use land. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Armenia, Colombia, Indonesia, Uganda
Creator:
Benbih, K. and Katz, J.
Year:
2014

Improving Land Tenure Security for Women: A Starting with Women Approach

A Starting with Women Toolkit - Full citation: Hannay, L., & Scalise, E. (2014). “Improving Land Tenure Security for Women: A Starting with Women Approach.” - This paper discusses a pragmatic, adaptive framework and approach for understanding and taking action to strengthen women’s land tenure security in the context of customary tenure in northern Uganda. The project team developed a Women’s Land Rights Framework (“Framework”), which provided a specific definition of secure land rights. The Framework defines secure land rights in terms of five elements, which each serves as the basis for distinct, measurable indicators upon which to base the project assessment, design, and evaluation. This paper presents the Framework and suggests its potential as an analytical foundation for assessing the security of land rights, for designing projects or developing policies that protect and strengthen women’s land rights, and for evaluating the effectiveness of such policies or projects.
[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Hannay, L., and Scalise, E.
Year:
2014

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

Enhancing Customary Justice Systems in the Mau Forest, Kenya: Impact Evaluation Report

Full citation: Freudenburg, M., & Santos, F. (2013). “Enhancing Customary Justice Systems in the Mau Forest, Kenya: Impact Evaluation Report.” USAID. - This paper evaluates a project which piloted an approach for improving women’s access to justice, particularly related to women’s land rights, by enhancing the customary justice system in one target area: Ol Pusimoru sub-location, Mau Forest, Kenya. The Justice Project consisted of: (1) delivery of a training curriculum to targeted groups (Chiefs, Elders, women and youth) focused on civic education, legal literacy, rights and responsibilities related to land and forest resources (with special emphasis on rights of women and children), and skill-building; (2) facilitated community conversations with target groups; (3) peer training for targeted groups to share information with others in the community; and (4) public information and education activities to reach the broader community.
The evaluation found improvements in legal awareness, particularly women’s legal knowledge, men’s knowledge of women’s rights, and women’s familiarity with the local justice system and alternative dispute resolution; women’s confidence in both fairness and outcomes if they need to access the local justice system, and procedural and process improvements in local dispute resolution institutions; respect for women’s rights by men in the community; increased access to land by women; improvements in women’s perceptions that they have access to an appropriate forum for dispute resolution; improvements in women’s land rights and tenure security, particularly in men’s expressed intentions to leave equal inheritance to all children, including girls, and women’s confidence in their ability to protect their land rights with support from local institutions; increased perceptions by women of improvements in the promptness and affordability of the local justice system and in Chiefs and Elders’ knowledge of the Constitution. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Kenya
Creator:
Freudenburg, M., & Santos, F.
Year:
2013

On the Edge of the Law: Women's Property Rights and Dispute Resolution in Kisii, Kenya

Full citation: Henrysson, E. and Joireman, S. (2009). “On the Edge of the Law: Women's Property Rights and Dispute Resolution in Kisii, Kenya.” Law Society Review 43(1), 39-60. - This study used interviews and focus groups to explore property disputes and perceptions of formal and customary systems of dispute resolution. The initial interviews were structured and conducted with various groups and individuals.

In Kenya, government efforts at establishing clearly defined property rights and adjudication mechanisms have run up against alternative processes for the adjudication of disputes. This research demonstrates that customary processes may also carry a monetary cost that puts them beyond the means of many citizens. This article compares the costs and processes of the formal and informal methods of property rights adjudication for women in the Kisii region of Kenya. The research results suggest that women have weak property rights overall, they have limited access to formal dispute resolution systems because of costs involved, and even the informal systems of conflict resolution are beyond the means of many citizens.

Attempts to maintain use rights over their land when widowed or divorced are not taken to the land tribunals because of the expense involved. Pursuing the resolution of disputes through the customary system is also prohibitively expensive. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Kenya
Creator:
Henrysson, E. and Joireman, S.
Year:
2009

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