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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

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