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Who owns the land?: Perspectives from rural Ugandans and implications for land acquisitions

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Author Info

  • Bomuhangi, Allan
  • Doss, Cheryl
  • Meinzen-Dick, Ruth

Abstract

Rapid growth of demand for agricultural land is putting pressure on property rights systems, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where customary tenure systems have provided secure land access. Patterns of gradual, endogenous change toward formalization are being challenged by rapid and large-scale demands from outsiders. Little attention has focused on the gender dimensions of this transformation. Based on a study of land tenure in Uganda, this paper analyzes how different ways of defining landownership—based on household reports, existence of ownership documents, and rights over the land—provide very different indications of the gendered patterns of landownership and rights. Although many households report that husbands and wives jointly own the land, women are less likely to be listed on ownership documents, especially titles, and women have fewer land rights. A simplistic focus on title to land misses much of the reality regarding land tenure and could especially have an adverse impact on women's land rights.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 1136.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1136

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Keywords: Gender; land acquisitions; Land tenure; landownership; Property rights;

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References

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  1. Behrman, Julia & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2011. "The gender implications of large-scale land deals:," IFPRI discussion papers 1056, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Cheryl Doss, 2006. "The Effects of Intrahousehold Property Ownership on Expenditure Patterns in Ghana," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 149-180, March.
  3. Carmen Diana Deere & Rosa Luz Durán & Merrilee Mardon & Tom Masterson, 2004. "Female Land Rights and Rural Household Incomes in Brazil, Paraguay and Peru," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2004-08, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  4. von Braun, Joachim & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela, 2009. ""Land grabbing" by foreign investors in developing countries: Risks and opportunities," Policy briefs 13, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Otsuka, Keijiro & Place, Frank, 2001. "Land tenure and natural resource management," Food policy statements 34, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Pradhan, Rajendra, 2002. "Legal pluralism and dynamic property rights:," CAPRi working papers 22, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Carmen Diana Deere & Cheryl Doss, 2006. "The Gender Asset Gap: What Do We Know And Why Does It Matter?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1-2), pages 1-50.
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Cited by:
  1. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & van Koppen, Barbara & Behrman, Julia & Karelina, Zhenya & Akamandisa, Vincent & Hope, Lesley & Wielgosz, Ben, 2012. "Putting Gender on the Map: Methods for mapping gendered farm management systems in Sub-Saharan Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 1153, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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