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The Land has its Owners! Gender Issues in Land Tenure Under Customary Law

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Kameri-Mbote, Patricia
Conference: UNDP-International Land Coalition Workshop: Land Rights for African Development: From Knowledge to Action
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Conf. Date: October 31-November 3, 2005
Date: 2005
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/191
Sector: Social Organization
Land Tenure & Use
Region: Africa
Subject(s): customary law
land tenure and use
indigenous institutions
gender
Abstract: "This paper looks at issues of gender and tenure in African customary law. It argues that under all systems of law in many African countries, ownership of land and associated resources is very much anchored in patriarchy. It decries the failure to isolate positive aspects of customary law and the preponderance of women-unfriendly customary law which influences statutory and other forms of law. Part II of the paper provides the conceptual and theoretical premises of the paper. It looks at patriarchy, gender and law and their impact on tenure relations emphasising the male dominance. Part III looks at the issues of access, control and ownership as informing paradigms for exploring the gender-land tenure issue. Part IV looks at women's rights to property under customary law and points to the preponderance of male control and the relegation of women's rights to use. It also underscores the precarious nature of women's rights and the inability of women to access statutory legal provisions on tenure to land even when these are in their favour. Part V comprises the conclusion."

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