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Using the law for resource justice

iied Land acquisitions and rights | Law | Natural resource management > Legal tools for citizen empowerment Blog on 28 April 2015.

Collection Type:
News & Commentary
Country:
Multiple Countries, Liberia, Kenya, Cambodia
Creator:
Brinkhurst, M.
Year:
2015

LandWise: The Research Process

This guide is intended to help users get started with conducting online and print research on topics related to women and land. Specifically, this guide will help users identify the laws and social science materials necessary for conducting a general legal review of women and land topics. Legal reviews help practitioners identify gaps in specific laws and policies and expose opportunities for policy recommendations.

Collection Type:
Practice Guides
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Chang, J.
Year:
2013

Women's Land Tenure Framework for Analysis: Inheritance

This framework is intended to help you assess the current situation for women’s land rights in a specific country, state, or community. This framework looks at a single question: Can women inherit land?

Collection Type:
Practice Guides
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Giovarelli, R and Scalise, E.
Years:
2015, 2013

Women's Land Tenure Framework for Analysis: Land Rights

This framework is intended to help you assess the current situation for women’s land rights in a specific country, state, or community. This framework looks at a single issue: Women’s rights to property

Collection Type:
Practice Guides
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Giovarelli, R and Scalise, E.
Years:
2015, 2013

Women's Land Rights in Uganda

This framework is intended to help you assess the current situation for women’s land rights in a specific country, state, or community.

Collection Type:
Practice Guides
Country:
Uganda
Creator:
Hannay, L.
Year:
2014

Women's Land and Property Rights in Kenya

This framework is intended to help you assess the current situation for women’s land rights in a specific country, state, or community.

Collection Type:
Practice Guides
Country:
Kenya
Creator:
Gaafar, R.
Year:
2015

Women's Land Rights Guide for Tanzania

This framework is intended to help you assess the current situation for women’s land rights in a specific country, state, or community.

Collection Type:
Practice Guides
Country:
Tanzania
Creator:
Duncan, J.
Year:
2015

Women's Land Rights in Rural China: Transforming Existing Laws into a Source of Property Rights

Full Citation: Liaw, R. H., "Women's Land Rights in Rural China: Transforming Existing Laws into a Source of Property Rights," 17(1) PACIFIC RIM LAW & POLICY JOURNAL 237 (2008). - In the aftermath of legal reforms designed to secure land tenure for farmers, women in rural China lost rights to land at marriage, divorce, and widowhood. Despite a central legal framework that facially protects women’s property interests, ambiguity in the property and marriage laws have allowed village leaders to reassert traditional social norms and deny constitutional equal rights guarantees for women. Recent attempts to ameliorate landlessness for women, specifically in the Rural Contract Law and the Property Law, offer little promise of providing a significant solution for rural women. New proposals to mitigate rural women’s loss of land rights must be framed in the cultural context of how social relations affect land rights. Legal reforms in rural China should focus on strengthening women’s property rights within marriage, as well as securing external rights to property. Women’s land tenure would be better protected under a more clearly defined community property regime that recognizes rural land contracts issued both prior to and during marriage as jointly possessed. Such measures would give women access to a legal platform at divorce or widowhood, when they are most likely to experience landlessness. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
China
Creator:
Liaw, R. H.
Year:
2008

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

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 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

The Gender Implications of Large-Scale Land Deals

Full citation: Behrman, J., Meinzen-Dick, R. and Quisumbing, A. R., "The Gender Implicationsof Large-Scale Land Deals" 17 IFPRI POLICY BRIEF (April 2011). - This article addresses the current information gap on the differential gender effects of large-scale land deals through an overview of the phases of large-scale land deals and discussion of related effects on rural men and women; a presentation of further evidence using several case studies on the gender effects of large-scale deals; and a conclusion that looks at knowledge gaps and areas for further research as well as broad recommendations for gender equitable large-scale land deals. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Indonesia, Mozambique
Creator:
Behrman, J., Meinzen-Dick, R. and Quisumbing, A. R.
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

From Being Property of Men to Becoming Equal Owners? Early Impacts of Land Regulation and Certification of Women in Southern Ethiopia

Full citation: Holden, S. and Tefera, T., "From Being Property of Men to Becoming Equal Owners? Early Impacts of Land Regulation and Certification of Women in Southern Ethiopia," FINAL RESEARCH REPORT (UN-HABITAT and GLTN, January 2008). - Land certification has been implemented in Ethiopia since 1998 and over 5 million certificates have been delivered. This study in the Oromiya region (OR) and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia, aims to assess the early impacts of land registration and certification that has been implemented there since 2004. Special emphasis is placed on the impacts of the reform on women, including the impacts of joint certification for husbands and wives. While the land laws first introduced in the Oromiya and SNNP regions in 2002 and 2003 stated that the husband could have his name on only one certificate, resistance caused a change such that certificates could be issued jointly to the husband and his wives, or the husband’s name could also be included below the name of his second and later wives, while he has his name first on the certificate with his first wife.

The study finds that low-cost land reform in Southern Ethiopia has contributed to increase the perceptions of tenure security for both women and men. The women’s names on the land certificates increased the perception that the women would be able to keep the land after the divorce or death of their husband, with some differences among wives in polygamous households. The reform had limited impact on women’s ability to influence farm management, perhaps because of the prevalence of sharecropping. The study recommends that information dissemination, mobilisation and organisation of women’s group. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Ethiopia
Creator:
Holden, S. and Tefera, T.
Year:
2008

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

Policy reform toward gender equality in Ethiopia

Full citation: Kumar, N. and Quisumbing, A., "Policy Reform toward Gender Equality in Ethiopia" 1226 IFPRI DISCUSSION PAPER (November 2012). - Using data from the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (ERHS), the study shows how two seemingly unrelated reforms—community-based land registration, undertaken since 2003, and changes in the Family Code implemented in 2000—may have created conditions that reinforce each other in improving gender equity. Specifically, the analysis finds (among other things) impacts of the land registration effort on the evolution of perceptions of the distribution of assets upon divorce. The study found that awareness about the land registration process is positively correlated with the shift in perceptions toward equal division of land and livestock upon divorce, particularly for wives in male-headed households. The presence of female members in the Land Administration Committee also had a positive effect on the shift in perceptions toward a more equal distribution of assets upon divorce. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Ethiopia
Creator:
Kumar, N. and Quisumbing, A. R.
Year:
2012

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

Property Rights and the Gender Distribution of Wealth in Ecuador, Ghana and India

Full citation: Deere, C. D., Oduro, A., Swaminathan, H. and Doss, C., "Property Rights and the Gender Distribution of Wealth in Ecuador, Ghana and India," 13 GENDER ASSET GAP PROJECT WORKING PAPER (August 2012). - This paper finds that basic property rights are insufficient, for much depends upon the legal and cultural regimes related to marriage and inheritance. Drawing upon household asset surveys which collected individual level ownership data in Ecuador, Ghana and the state of Karnataka in India, it estimates married women’s share of couple wealth and relate it to whether major household assets are owned individually or jointly during the marriage as well as to different inheritance regimes and practices. In Ecuador, married women own 44 percent, in Ghana, 19 percent, and in Karnataka, nine percent of couple wealth. Ecuador is characterized by the partial community property regime in marriage while inheritance laws provide for all children, irrespective of sex, to be treated equally, rules that are largely followed in practice. In contrast, Ghana and India are characterized by the separation of property regime which does not recognize wives’ contribution to the formation of marital property, and by inheritance practices that are strongly male biased. Reforming marital and inheritance regimes must remain a top priority in many regions of the world if gender economic equality is to be attained. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Ecuador, Ghana, India
Creator:
Deere, C. D., Oduro, A., Swaminathan, H. and Doss, C.
Year:
2012

Women's Land Rights in the Transition to Individualized Ownership: Implications for Tree Resource Management in Western Ghana

This study explores the impact of changes in land tenure institutions on women's land rights and the efficiency of tree resource management in Western Ghana. It finds that customary land tenure institutions have evolved toward individualized systems to provide incentives to invest in tree planting. However, contrary to the common belief that individualization of land tenure weakens women's land rights, these have been strengthened through inter vivos gifts and the practice of the Intestate Succession Law. Investment in tree planting, in turn, is affected not simply by the level of land tenure security, but also by its expected changes, as tree planting strengthens land tenure security. Cocoa yields are lower on allocated family land and rented land under share tenancy due to distorted work incentives. While men and women are equally likely to plant trees, women obtain lower yields on their cocoa plots, suggesting the presence of gender-specific constraints. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Ghana
Creator:
Quisumbing, A. et al
Year:
2001

The Gender and Equity Implications of Land-Related Investments on Land Access and Labour and Income-Generating Opportunities: A Case Study of Selected Agricultural Investments in Zambia

Full citation: FAO, "The Gender and Equity Implications of Land-Related Investments on Land Access and Labour and Income-Generating Opportunities: A Case Study of Selected Agricultural Investments in Zambia," FAO REPORT (2013). - This paper is two case studies of the gender dimensions of agricultural investments in Zambia. The lack of explicit corporate gender policies and strategies have meant that prevailing socio-cultural attitudes towards gender have penalized women in relation to the costs and benefits created by the venture. A key principle is that a ‘gender neutral’ approach to agricultural investments is not enough: investors must adopt explicit gender policies and take proactive steps to ensure that company behaviors help to overcome rather than reinforce pre-existing gender inequalities. This means adopting policies to offer employment on a priority basis to those local women and men who have suffered a loss of livelihood as a result of the land acquisition. All investors should also ensure that the scheme’s membership criteria do not directly or indirectly discriminate against women, and should take proactive measures to encourage women to join.
Two fundamental aspects of land tenure governance in particular need to be addressed: the cost of land rent required for leasehold tenure and the powers vested in customary authorities. Options for communal registration of customary land tenure should be explored. Affirmative action to protect women’s rights to land and natural resources should also be prioritized including ensuring that the new land policy provides for joint registration of land under joint occupation by married people. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Zambia
Creator:
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Year:
2013

A Roadmap for Promoting Women's Economic Empowerment

Full citation: Buvinic, M., Furst-Nichols, R., and Pryor, E. C., "A Roadmap for Promoting Women's Economic Empowerment," UNITED NATIONS PUBLICATION (2013). - This roadmap has a section on the importance of formal ownership and control over farmland for women’s productivity and economic security, hinging on paying attention to social and local contexts. It recommends an integrated suite of services, which target both production and marketing and address social constraints. It notes that land titling programs can help women where women’s names are on the title and where attention is paid to customary rules and the ways they may discriminate. Also finds that agricultural interventions have successfully increased the stock of both men’s and/or women’s s tangible assets, but particularly those assets they own jointly. In addition, projects have also increased the stock of social and human capital, particularly for women. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Buvinic, M., Furst-Nichols, R., and Pryor, E. C.
Year:
2013

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