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Women, Land, and Customary Law

Collection Type:
Articles
Country:
South Africa
Creator:
Budlender, D., Mgweba, S., Motsepe, K. and Williams, L.
Year:
2011

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

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