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A Woman's Field Is Made At Night: Gendered Land Rights And Norms In Burkina Faso

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  • Michael Kevane
  • Leslie Gray

Abstract

Gendered social norms and institutions are important determinants of agricultural activities in southwestern Burkina Faso. This paper argues that gendered land tenure, in particular, has effects on equity and efficiency. The usual view of women as holders of secondary, or indirect, rights to land must be supplemented by a more nuanced understanding of tenure. Women's rights are in fact considerably more complex than the simple right to fields from their husbands. First, women's rights to property obtained from men may be coupled with other rights and obligations. In many ethnic groups, women have share rights to the harvest of their husbands. Second, despite land scarcity and rises in land value certain types of rights are strengthening. Specifically, women are more and more able to obtain land through the market. Finally, government intervention in the gendering of tenure seems to have eroded women's individual rights to land even when government projects explicitly try to incorporate women as "partners" in land-use programs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

Volume (Year): 5 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 1-26

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Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:5:y:1999:i:3:p:1-26

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Related research

Keywords: Land; Africa; Gender; Women; Burkina Faso;

References

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  1. Agarwal, Bina, 1994. "Gender and command over property: A critical gap in economic analysis and policy in South Asia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 1455-1478, October.
  2. Ram, Rati & Singh, Ram D., 1988. "Farm households in rural Burkina Faso: Some evidence on allocative and direct return to schooling, and male-female labor productivity differentials," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 419-424, March.
  3. von Braun, Joachim & Webb, Patrick J R, 1989. "The Impact of New Crop Technology on the Agricultural Division of Labor in a West African Setting," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(3), pages 513-34, April.
  4. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
  5. Luisella Goldschmidt-Clermont and Elisabetta Pagnossin-Aligisakis, 1995. "Measures of Unrecorded Economic Activities in Fourteen Countries," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-1995-02, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  6. Gabrielle Meagher, 1997. "Recreating ''Domestic Service'': Institutional Cultures and the Evolution of Paid Household Work," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 1-27.
  7. Doss, Cheryl R., 1996. "Testing among models of intrahousehold resource allocation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1597-1609, October.
  8. Duncan Ironmonger, 1996. "Counting outputs, capital inputs and caring labor: Estimating gross household product," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 37-64.
  9. Folbre, Nancy, 1994. "Children as Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 86-90, May.
  10. Brasselle, Anne-Sophie & Gaspart, Frederic & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2002. "Land tenure security and investment incentives: puzzling evidence from Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-418, April.
  11. Simon Batterbury, 1998. "Local environmental management, land degradation and the 'gestion des terroirs' approach in West Africa: policies and pitfalls," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(7), pages 871-898.
  12. Smith, Lisa C. & Chavas, Jean-Paul, 1999. "Supply response of West African agricultural households," FCND discussion papers 69, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. Quisumbing, Agnes R., 1996. "Male-female differences in agricultural productivity: Methodological issues and empirical evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1579-1595, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lorenzo Cotula, 2006. "Water Rights, Poverty and Inequality: The Case of Dryland Africa," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2006-02, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  2. M. Fafchamps & A. R. Quisumbing, 2002. "Control and Ownership of Assets Within Rural Ethiopian Households," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(6), pages 47-82.
  3. Deininger, Klaus & Castagnini, Raffaella, 2004. "Incidence and impact of land conflict in Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3248, The World Bank.
  4. Nanama, Siméon & Frongillo, Edward A., 2012. "Altered social cohesion and adverse psychological experiences with chronic food insecurity in the non-market economy and complex households of Burkina Faso," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 444-451.
  5. Peterman, Amber & Quisumbing, Agnes & Behrman, Julia & Nkonya, Ephraim, 2010. "Understanding gender differences in agricultural productivity in Uganda and Nigeria," IFPRI discussion papers 1003, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Bezabih, Mintewab & Holden, Stein, 2010. "The Role of Land Certification in Reducing Gender Gaps in Productivity in Rural Ethiopia," Discussion Papers dp-10-23-efd, Resources For the Future.
  7. Nikièma, Béatrice & Haddad, Slim & Potvin, Louise, 2008. "Women Bargaining to Seek Healthcare: Norms, Domestic Practices, and Implications in Rural Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 608-624, April.
  8. Akresh, Richard & Chen, Joyce J. & Moore, Charity, 2011. "Altruism, Cooperation, and Efficiency: Agricultural Production in Polygynous Households," IZA Discussion Papers 6265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Allendorf, Keera, 2007. "Do Women's Land Rights Promote Empowerment and Child Health in Nepal?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 1975-1988, November.
  10. Nanama, Siméon & Frongillo, Edward A., 2012. "Women’s rank modifies the relationship between household and women’s food insecurity in complex households in northern Burkina Faso," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 217-225.

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