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Impediments to Statutory Land Access Among Women: Case of Mumbwa District in Zambia

By Ndangwa Watala and Roy Chileshe

Abstract

Women’s low levels of statutory land acquisition, is a growing concern in Zambia. Although several legal and institutional frameworks have been put in place to ensure equality of access to statutory land between women and men, women’s acquisition of statutory land has not improved compared to that of men. This paper explores impediments to statutory land acquisition among women.  Empirical data collected through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions are explored using a case study of Mumbwa District. The paper argues that opportunity for women to acquire full rights of ownership of statutory land having rights guaranteed by the state through the constitution and to occupy, use and to transfer land at own volition, and also having the power to enforce such rights  represent the strongest form of secure access to land. The paper concludes that access to statutory land in the study site is in favour of men, either by legal provisions and regulations that favour men’s rights over women’s rights or by socio-cultural norms. Further that important impediment to women’s access to statutory land include: lack of women awareness of land rights; traditional pre-marital counselling; financial constraints; bureaucracy in land acquisition processes; patriarchy and gender imparity in decision making structures. The impediments to women’s access to statutory land are a threat to women’s economic empowerment which is essential in promoting equality between men and women and elimination of poverty.  It is submitted that it is imperative for land administrators to provide institutional structures that can protect and strengthen fairness in access to statutory land within the framework of a land policy and the law. Keywords: statutory land, equality, land acquisition, Zambi

Publisher: Research on Humanities and Social Sciences
Year: 2018
OAI identifier: oai:ojs.localhost:article/42929

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