This article argues that African women suffer double deprivation in traditional West African societies. They inherit land and property rights from neither their fathers nor husbands. Although some African customs and much colonial influence alleviate some gender-based violence against women and give widows’ land rights even so, many African widows suffer unjustly in Nigeria, Senegal and Togo, West Africa.
This paper highlight several issues including a growing concensus that solutions to women’s land tenure problems need to be grounded in local specificities, that gender policies related to land ownership have tended to be piecemeal, circumscribed and homogenous and what kind of policy responses might best work: reforming customary law by statute or by evolution for instance?
This paper discusses the issues involved in women’s land interests and inheritiance, with reference to recent land tenure reforms in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda and reviews debate among gender justice activists about how related issues should be addressed, in particular the problems of customary law and land titling and registration and statutory law. Recent land and tenure reforms in Africa seek to improve women’s representation in land administration bodies: while this is not in contention, current policies also seek to build on customary systems instead of breaking with them.
Does women's lack of property rights increases household poverty and their vulnerability to HIV infection? Would securing these rights mitigate the impoverishing impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic? This paper seeks to answer these questions and
This paper discuss the additional Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, which was adopted in 2003, signed by thirty African states and ratified by at least half that number. The paper examines the challenges posed to this Protocol by existing dynamics related to labour, land and women’s rights.
The author states: “The central question addressed in this paper is the following: to what extent the governance problems of SSA have something to do with the cultural patrimony inherited by African states and countries, culture being understood as “those customary beliefs and values that ethnic, religious, and social groups transmit fairly unchanged from generation to generation” (Guiso et al., 2006: 23)?
The evolutionary theory of land rights can be considered the dominant framework of analysis used by mainstream economists to assess the land tenure situation in developing countries, and to make predictions about its evolution.
This paper explores the transformation of customary tenure systems and their impact on women's rights to land in Africa. Emphasis is placed on the diversity of land rights within customary tenure systems, the different institutions and structures (e.g., inheritance, marriage) that influence rights to land, and the trend toward uniformity and increasing patrilineal control.
This article begins by establishing women’s land and property rights within international human rights law. The author then moves to examine current systems of land tenure in Africa and the extent to which women are able to access their property rights. The article notes the discrepancy between women's responsibility for ensuring the family’s food supply and the general lack of recognition of women’s rights in land.
Economists such as Hernando De Soto have argued that clearly defined property rights are essential to capital formation and ultimately to economic growth and poverty alleviation. This article traces two impediments to the clear definition of property rights in the African context: customary law and the status of women. Both of these issues interfere with the attempt of African countries to rearticulate property law with the goal of capital formation.
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