Each day before the reaping, the 11-year-old girl walked between the stunted stalks of millet with a sense of mounting dread. In a normal year, the green shoots vaulted out of the ground and rose as high as 13 feet (4 meters), a wall tall enough to conceal an adult man. This time, they only reached her waist. Even the tallest plant in her family's plot barely grazed her shoulder. Zali could feel the tug of the invisible thread tying her fate to that of the land. As the world closed in around her, she knew that this time the bad harvest would mean more than just hunger.
REFEPA’s goal in this project was to give voice to women to assert their rights to property and inheritance in the context of State laws, Muslim laws and customary laws. The project undertook action research in two sites – Hamdallahi and Kollo Zarma – and used the following strategies to achieve the above goal:
This is an educational kit comprising 8 thematic papers, that is complementary to a film about the Lessons Learned from Niger’s Rural Code. The papers are meant to encourage viewers to look further into some of the topics that the film deals with, and provide practical data (facts and figures, diagrams, maps, etc…) about the reality of Niger’s Rural Code. They are a key tool for moderators to lead discussions with the audience and go further into the debate.
The authors argue that the process leading to the Rural Code has produced some important positive results which have contributed to easing conflicted relations between rural producers and strengthening land tenure security, notably amongst the weakest inhabitants. Some challenges to the implementation of the rural have arisen, notably lack of clarity and contradiction between some guiding principles.