Improved land reforms to the benefit of women´s access to land to foster and support social norm change, a case study of Western Area rural district and Bombali district in Sierra Leone

Authors

  • Bankolay Theodore Turay Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development, University of Lagos
  • Modupe Moronke Omirin Faculty of Environmental Science, University of Lagos

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.48346/IMIST.PRSM/ajlp-gs.v6i3.38611

Keywords:

women’s land access, land reform, land rights, social norm change,

Abstract

It is critical to have land policies that facilitate access to and effective control of land and other natural resources to achieve inclusive growth and eradicate poverty. It is well known that discrimination in land rights occurs globally, both in formal and customary settings. The reason for this is that land rights are either strong or weak and are held by a variety of groups of people. It is the weaker variants of the inequalities that stifle tenure security, reduce land use, and threaten the food security of those who depend on the land to survive. This study looks at improved land reforms to the benefit of women´s access to land to foster and support social norm change in Sierra Leone. A Cross-sectional research design was used for data collection. Quantitative data were analyzed descriptively; while, qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis. A household survey across the settlements for semi-structured questionnaire administration. In-depth interviews of the various category of women and household heads through a purposive sampling technique. Key informant interviews (KII) consisted of local leaders, household heads, women leaders and community land owners. An unrefined search using keywords through JSTOR, Google Scholar, Research Gate and UNILAG database yielded search results of journals, book chapters and research reports on the subject. This was restricted to the utilization of accessible resources drawing on sources from different scholastic disciplines while performing an area audit. 

The results of the study indicated that the principle that statutory reforms automatically take precedence over other laws in cases where there is a conflict between laws seems to remain on paper here. When it comes to land, informal and customary arrangements dominate and custom is seen to be powerful, authoritative and even unshakable. Even with the current gender-equitable legal framework, proper implementation of these laws is often lacking and enforcement institutions are weak.  Therefore, it is recommended that increased efforts are needed to assist women in exercising their legal rights, such as addressing norms and customs regarding how women acquire land (such as through purchase or inheritance), the quality of the land they receive, and how land is transferred upon marriage or the death of a spouse.

References

Aciro, A. L. Gloria (2016) ‘Multiple loss’. e-paper number. 72016, page 20. Available at: https://www.dandc.eu/en/article/death-their-husband-ugandan-women-usuallylose-theirlandtoo?fbclid=IwAR0nG8yEFOHMzPCBcxz922syqlwts9EVFtkKlqD6WVCoBovGW1RFnkKoIk> e-paper number. 72016, page 20.

Agarwal, B. (2010). Gender and Green Governance: The Political Economy of Women’s Presence Within and Beyond Community Forestry. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Amone, C. (2020) ‘Polygamy as a Dominant Pattern of Sexual Pairing Among the Acholi of Uganda’. Sexuality & Culture 24, 733–748. Available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-019-09660-0.

Apecu, L. S. (2018) Gender, land rights and fragility in Northern Uganda: the case of Amuru District. Available at: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Gender%2C-landrights-and-fragilityin-Northern-the Apecu/5c460a7a5e35c063bb3864dcacbb801f942b8e6d

Arko-Adjei, A. (2011). Adapting land administration to the institutional framework of customary tenure: The case of peri-urban Ghana. PhD. Thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.

Arora-Jonsson, S. (2011) “Virtue and vulnerability: discourses on women, gender and climate change”. Global Environmental Change, vol. 21, no. 2: 744–751.

Bee, B., Bermann, M., and Tschakert, P. (2013) “Gender, development and rights-based approaches: lessons for climate change adaptation and adaptive social protection”. In Alston, M. and Whittenbury, K. (eds.), Research, Action and Policy: Addressing the Gendered Impacts of Climate Change. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 95–108.

Behrman, J., Meinzen-Dick, R. and Quisumbing, A. (2012) “The gender implications of large-scale land deals”. Journal of Peasant Studies, vol. 39, no. 1: 49–79.

Berg BL (2001). Qualitative Research, Message for the Social Sciences. 4th Edition, Allin and Bacon, Boston, 15-35. https://mthoyibi.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/qualitativeresearchmethods-for-the-social-sciences__bruce-l-berg-2001.pdf.

Berry, S. (2006) Privatization and the politics of belonging in West Africa. In Kuba, R. & Lentz. C. (Eds.), Land and the politics of belonging in West Africa.

Broegaard, R.B., Vongvisouk, T., Mertz, O., (2017). Contradictory land use plans and policies in Laos: tenure security and the threat of exclusion. World Dev. 89, 170–183.

Broegaard, R.J., (2005). Land tenure insecurity and inequality in Nicaragua. Dev. Change 36 (5), 845–864.

Burnard P (1991). A method of analysing interview transcripts in qualitative research. Nurse Education Today 11(6):461-466.

Butler, J. (2004) Undoing Gender. London: Routledge.

Carney, J., (2004). Gender conflict in Gambian wetlands. In: Peet, R., Watts, M. (Eds.), Liberation Ecologies: Environment, Development, and Social Movements. Routledge, London, pp. 289–305.

Carney, J.A., (1996). Converting the wetlands, engendering the environment: the intersection of gender with agrarian change in the Gambia. In: Peet, R., Watts, M. (Eds.), Liberation Ecologies: Environment, Development, and Social Movements. Routledge, London, pp. 165–187.

Catanzaro M (1988). Using qualitative analytical techniques N.F. Woods, M. Catanzaro (Eds.), Nursing: research theory and practice, The CV Mosby Company, St. Louis, pp. 437-456.

Clement, F., Harcourt, W., Joshi, D., and Sato, C. (2019). Feminist political ecologies of the commons and commoning. Int. J. Commons 13, 1–15. doi: 10.18352/ijc.972

Crenshaw K. (1991) Mapping the margins: intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of colour. Stanford Law Rev. ;43(6):1241–99. https://doi.org/10.2307/1229039 Doi:citeulike-article-id:9698013.

Davis K.(2008). Intersectionality as buzzword: a sociology of science perspective on what makes a feminist theory successful. Fem Theory. ;9(1):67–85. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464700108086364.

Deere, C.D., Leon, M., (2003). The gender asset gap: land in Latin America. World Dev. 31 (6), 925–947. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0305-750X(03)00046-9.

Doss, C.R., Kim, S.M., Njuki, J., Hillenbrand, E., Miruka, M., (2014). Women's individual and joint property ownership effects on household decision-making. In: IFPRI Discussion Paper 01347. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C.

Downe-Wambolt B (1992). Content analysis: method, applications and issues Health Care for Women International 13:313-321

Duncan B, Brants C (2004) Access to and control over land from a gender perspective: A study conducted in the Volta Region of Ghana. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Ghana.

Elmhirst, R. (2011). Introducing new feminist political ecologies. Geoforum 42, 129–132. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2011.01.006

FAO (2011). The State of Food and Agriculture 2010–2011: Women in Agriculture, Closing the gender gap for development. FAO: Rome.

FAO (2018)“Women’s Rights to Land and other natural Resources.” http:// www.fao.org/docrep/005/y4311e/y4311e04.htm.

FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) (2012) Gender equity and rural employment division gender inequalities in rural employment in Ghana an overview. http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/ap090e/ap090e00.pdf

FAO, (2010); The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Rome, https://www.fao.org/3/i1820e/i1820e00.htm

FAO, (2016) Non-judicial grievance mechanisms in land-related disputes in Sierra Leone. Analytical Assessment within the framework of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT). FAO Legal Paper No.99.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (2018). The national gender profile of agriculture and rural livelihoods, Sierra Leone.

Grabe, S., R. G. Grose, and A. Dutt (2015) “Women’s Land Ownership and Relationship Power: A Mixed Methods Approach to Understanding Structural Inequities and Violence against Women.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 39 (1): 7–19. http://doi.org/10.1177/0361684314533485.

Green Scenery (2020) Contribution of the UN Peace Building Fund to women’s economic empowerment and peace. A participatory rural poverty assessment of the project. Accessible on:http://greenscenery.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/200710- GreenScenery Women%E2%80%99s-Economic-Empowerment-andPeace.-A-Participatory- Rural-Poverty-Assessement.pdf

Grigsby, WJ, (2004) The Gendered Nature of Subsistence and its Effect on Customary Land Tenure. In Society and Natural Resources 17 (3), pg. 207- 222.

Hannay, L. (2014) Women's Land Rights in Uganda. Available at: https://www.landesa.org/wp-content/uploads/LandWise-Guide-Womens-landrights-in-Uganda.pdf

Hanson-Alp, R. (2005). Understanding customary land tenure systems in Sierra Leone: who has control of the land? CARE

Hopwood, J. (2015) Women’s Land Claims in the Acholi region of Northern Uganda: What Can Be Learned from What Is Contested. Volume 22, pages 387-409. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1163/15718115-02203005> or https://brill.com/view/journals/ijgr/22/3/article-p387_5.xml?language=en

IFAD (2018) Report on Development Effectiveness, EB 2018/124/R.13 EC 2018/102/W.P.7

Jere, P. (2012). Improving Land Sector Governance in Malawi. Implementation of the Land

Kachika, T (2010) Land grabbing in Africa: A review of the impacts and possible policy responses, Oxford. http://www.oxfamblogs.org/eastafrica/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/LandGrabbing-in-Africa.-Final.pdf

Kieran, C., Sproule, K., Doss, C., Quisumbing, A., Kim, S.M., (2015). Examining gender inequalities in land rights indicators in Asia. Agric. Econ. 46, 119–138. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/agec.12202.

Knapp G-A.(2005). Race, class, gender: reclaiming baggage in fast travelling theories. Eur J Women's Stud. ;12(3):249–65. https://doi.org/10.1177/13 50506805054267.

Krippendorff K (2004). Content analysis: an introduction to its methodology. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications Inc.

Leach, M. (2007) “Earth mother myths and other ecofeminist fables: how a strategic notion rose and fell”. Development and Change, vol. 38, no. 1: 67–85.

Mackenzie, F., (1995), Selective Silence: A Feminist Encounter with Environmental Discourse in Colonial Africa, in The Power of Development, Crush, J., (Editor), London and New York: Routledge, p.100-112.

Manila: ADB (2012). Guidance Note. Gender and Law: Temporary Special Measures to Promote Gender Equality.

McKibben, G and Bean, J (2010) Land or Else: Land-Based Conflict, Vulnerability, and Disintegration in Northern Uganda.

Kampala: International Organization for Migration, UNDP, and the Norwegian Refugee Council. Available at: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/B73B449E5563C634C1 2577F100382FEA-Full_Report.pdf

Meinzen-Dick, R., Quisumbing, A., Doss, C., and Theis, S. (2019). Women’s land rights as a pathway to poverty reduction: framework and review of available evidence. Agric. Syst. 172, 72–82. doi: 10.1016/j.agsy.2017.10.009

Moore, D., (2005). Struggling for Territory: Race, Place and Power in Zimbabwe. Duke University Press, Durham.

Moyo S, Kamara FM (2009). UNDP Scoping Mission Report: Key Land Tenure Issues and Reform Processes for Sierra Leone, Report commissioned for the Ministry of Land, Country Planning and the Environment, UNDP: Freetown. Available at: http://leonenet.info/documents/Docs/sil_landtenure_scoping_missionr pt.pdf

Nelson, R (1995). Public Lands and Private Rights: The Failure of Scientific Management. Lan ham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Neuendorf K (2002). The content analysis guidebook. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications Inc.

Nightingale, A. (2006) “The nature of gender: work, gender and environment”. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, vol. 24: 165–185.

Nightingale, A. (2011) “Bounding difference: intersectionality and the material production of gender, caste, class and environment in Nepal”. Geoforum, vol. 42: 153–162.

Pallas, S. (2011). Women’s land rights and women’s empowerment: one and the same?. In Verschuur, C. (Ed.), Du grain à moudre: Genre, développement rural et alimentation. Graduate Institute Publications. doi:10.4000/books.iheid.6760

Radel, C. (2012) “Gendered livelihoods and the politics of socio-environmental identity: women’s participation in the conservation projects in Calakmul, Mexico”. Gender, Place and Culture, vol. 19, no. 1: 61–82.

Renner-Thomas, A. (2010). Land Tenure in Sierra Leone: The Law, Dualism and the Making of a Land Policy.

Ribot, J.C. and Peluso, N.L., 2003. A theory of access. Rural Sociology, 68(2), pp.153-181.

Sato, C., and Soto-Alarcón, J. (2019). Toward a post-capitalist feminist political ecology approach to the commons and commoning. Int. J. Commons 13, 36–61. doi: 10.18352/ijc.933

Schroeder, R.A., (1993). Shady practice: gender and the political ecology of resource stabilization in Gambian garden/orchards. Economic Geography 69 (4), 349– 365.

Schroeder, R.A., (1996). ‘Gone to their second husbands’: marital metaphors and conjugal contracts in the Gambia’s female garden sector. Canadian Journal of African Studies 30 (1), 69–87.

Shaheed, F. (2017) Women, Culture, and Rights in Acholi. Available at:https://crossculturalfoundation.or.ug/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/WomenCulture-and-Rights-in-Acholi-2017.pdf

Tripp MA (2004) Women's movements, customary law and land rights in Africa: The case of Uganda. African Studies Quarterly.http://asq.africa.ufl.edu/files/v7i4.pdf

Tschakert, P. (2013) “From impacts to embodied experiences: tracing political ecology in climate change research”. Geografisk Tidsskrift-Danish Journal of Geography, vol. 112, no. 2: 144–158.

United Nations (2015). Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/21252030 Agenda for Sustainable Development web.pdf

Unruh, J.D. & Turray H. (2006). Land tenure, food security and investment in post-war Sierra Leone, FAO.

Wisborg, P. (2014) “Transnational land deals and gender equality: utilitarian and human rights approach”. Feminist Economics, vol. 20, no. 1: 24–51.

World Bank Group. (2015). World Bank Group Gender Strategy (FY16-23): Gender Equality, Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth, Washington DC

World Bank, (2003). Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction (Washington DC: The World Bank), at 79-98. Strengthening Land Tenure and Property Rights Land Law and Policy. See Robin Nielsen, 2007. Background Report: Land Dispute Systems in Angola (on file with RDI).

Downloads

Published

31-05-2023

How to Cite

Turay, B. T., & Omirin, M. M. (2023). Improved land reforms to the benefit of women´s access to land to foster and support social norm change, a case study of Western Area rural district and Bombali district in Sierra Leone. African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences, 6(3), 400–417. https://doi.org/10.48346/IMIST.PRSM/ajlp-gs.v6i3.38611

Issue

Section

Articles

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.