Africa

This paper considers how the law in Nigeria discriminates against women in respect of the distribution of property on divorce. It also discusses whether international or regional instruments which have been ratified by Nigeria have helped eliminate discrimination against women in this regard.

Land rights are usually conceived of as the rights to use, enjoy and exploit land. Women’s land rights are fragile and transient, being dependent upon age and marital status, whether they had children and their sexual conduct. In spite of the Nigerian Land Use Act (LUA) of 1978, which restructured the property rights system in the country from mixed private property rights system in a collectivist framework, concerns about women’s land rights persist.

The paper examines the legal effect of economic and social rights in Nigeria and relates this to the property rights of women in the capacity of a daughter, a wife and a widow. It argues that the property rights of women in its practical manifestation does not actualise  economic and social rights in Nigeria. The discourse makes recommendations towards the reform of Nigerian property law in this area.
Based on an interview with Josephine Nzerem, a leading Nigerian women’s rights activist, this article argues that African women must become more interested and involved in their husbands’ and fathers' financial activities to protect their inheritance and property rights which key to female economic empowerment.

This article covers the ibos, the Tivs, the Idoma and Beroms of Nigeria. The author offers various definitons of customary law and then examines customary practices like payment of bride price, widowhood practices, property rights wife inheritance , etc and how they affect the enjoyment of of fundamental human rights of women.

In this paper the authors argue that ownership without independent rights is in the final analysis, no ownership at all and make the case for independent land rights for women. In the case of Muslim women who already enjoy (nominal) rights to own land, they argue for independent rights in order to enable them to be in a position to make decisions on the use, disposal and acquisition of this resource. For non-Muslims without ownership rights, they argue that demands for ownership have to go hand in hand with independent rights on matters of usage and disposal (i.e. control).

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.

This article attempts to present a practical as well as theoretical overview of the current land tenure situation in Niger. West Africa.
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