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Dispossession and Management of Common Property: Women and Inheritance in East Africa

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Okumu Wengi, Jennifer
Conference: Voices from the Commons, the Sixth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Berkeley, CA
Conf. Date: June 5-8, 1996
Date: 1996
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5550
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Land Tenure & Use
Region: Africa
Subject(s): women
land tenure and use
property rights
Abstract: "This paper discusses the inheritance regime in the East African region, its implications for women and how it affects their access to property. It is based on a study by Women and Law in East African Research Project that investigated inheritance laws and practices in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Inheritance is taken to denote the process by, and the order in which persons succeed to property or title. It involves transmission of property inter vivos and after the death of a father, a spouse or a relative. Such transmission affects the relationship to both productive resources such as land and personal valuables. The underlying social and economic dimensions of property are reflected in the rules of inheritance and heredity. The paper examines the process of inheritance to describe how the various categories of women own, utilise, access, manage, dispose of and control property. Such approach, it is hoped, makes it possible to describe the position of women, their real lived experiences and their role and potential in the communal exploitation and utilisation of resources to create various living experiences, and livelihoods."

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