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Legal Empowerment in Practice: Using Legal Tools to Secure Land Rights in Africa

Full citation: Cotula, L. and Mathieu, P., "Legal Empowerment in Practice: Using Legal Tools to Secure Land Rights in Africa," IIED & FAO REPORT (May 2008).

Collection Type:
Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda
Creator:
Cotula, L. and Mathieu, P.
Year:
2008

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

UN Women: Changing Lives in Africa 2012

Collection Type:
Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Rwanda
Creator:
Multiple Contributing Authors
Year:
2012

Engendering Access to Justice: Grassroots women's approaches to securing land rights

The community-based study has three purposes: 1. Highlight the multitude of issues and challenges facing African women in relation to land and property. 2. Document the main strategies that grassroots women’s groups are using to help women attain justice, either by working within or influencing customary legal frameworks, or by assisting women to access the court system, in order to develop a cohesive series of strategies for grassroots women-led groups to use in achieving justice in relation to land and property. 3. Provide evidence that can be used to insert grassroots women’s perspectives and practices into the existing development discourse on women’s access to justice in relation to land and property, particularly within the African context.

It finds broadly that the most important components of successful approaches are: community sensitization and training sessions on customary and statutory legal systems; community mapping; local-to-local dialogues with headmen, chiefs, and local leaders; • the use of community paralegals for information, advice, and access to resources for grassroots women; the use of watchdogs to identify and highlight problems in a community; and, • the development of partnerships with key stakeholders. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda
Creator:
Brown, J. and Gallant, G.
Year:
2014

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

Prindex: Comparative Report

Collection Type:
Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Madagascar, Cote d'Ivoire, Thailand, Burkina Faso, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Liberia, Peru, Namibia, Senegal, Cameroon, Zambia, Mozambique, Rwanda
Creator:
Prindex
Year:
2018