Women and land in Africa: Culture religion and realising women's rights

Women and land in Africa: Culture religion and realising women's rights

Author: 
Wanyeki, L. Multhoni
Place: 
London
Publisher: 
Zedbooks
Phys descriptions: 
XV, 384p., tables, charts
Date published: 
2003
Record type: 
Region: 
ISBN: 
1842770977
Call No: 
396:332(6) WOM
Abstract: 

Women and land in Africa is the product of original research into the changing situations that rural African women are experiencing in relation to land rights. Its authors link research and analysis with advocacy and action - the purpose being to contriubute towards equalizing gender relations and promoting the ability of African women to achieve greater economic independence as well as other human rights. A number of countries were selected - from West Africa, East Africa and hte Horn, Islamic and non-Islamic. The contributors highlight key land rights issues and make recommendations for each country. In a particularly interesting innovation, the volume examines the case of Ethiopia where there has been an explicit attempt not only to make the research findings available beyong the academic community, but to deply this information in a rolling programme of advocacy. While there are differences in women's access to and control over land, important commonalities emerge. These include the dualism between customary or religious (notably Islamic)land law, and statute law;th gap between the rights women have in the theory, and their ability to assert them;and the superior rights and power of men generally to control land, decision making and household income. Changing this situation has not been helped by the fact that women's land rights have been largely ignored by both Christian and Islamic social movements, as well as environmental and development movements. However, the authors argue that various social forces are now weakening customary and religious institutions;and innovative approaches to advocacy are seeking to assert women's human rights in the changing context. What is needed is the developemnt of customary and religious interpretations which recognize that today's communities are often urban, multi-ethnic and pluralistic, and that women's equal status and full enjoyment of rights are things to be welcomed and enshrined in customary, religious and statutory law.

Language: 

CITATION: Wanyeki, L. Multhoni. Women and land in Africa: Culture religion and realising women's rights . London : Zedbooks , 2003. - Available at: http://library.au.int/women-and-land-africa-culture-religion-and-realising-womens-rights-3