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The story of a post-feminist in post-patriarchy : the consequences of customary laws and practices on rural women’s land rights and livelihoods in Tanzania

Kopweh, Clement Peter LU (2016) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20161
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
In rural Tanzania, customary laws and practices have for over 50 years been the major constraints of women’s land rights and livelihood. According to customs, a man has inherent powers to own and control land, and he is considered to be the rightful heir of such resource, and a woman is not. In most cases, women get to experience such disposition in matters of inheritance, succession, and division of matrimonial properties after divorce. This study is aimed to investigate on the experience of rural women brought by the laws and cultural practices applied in ownership of land, and how these laws and practices affect women’s livelihood in Tanzania. A combination of two conceptual frameworks of patriarchy and livelihood was applied to answer... (More)
In rural Tanzania, customary laws and practices have for over 50 years been the major constraints of women’s land rights and livelihood. According to customs, a man has inherent powers to own and control land, and he is considered to be the rightful heir of such resource, and a woman is not. In most cases, women get to experience such disposition in matters of inheritance, succession, and division of matrimonial properties after divorce. This study is aimed to investigate on the experience of rural women brought by the laws and cultural practices applied in ownership of land, and how these laws and practices affect women’s livelihood in Tanzania. A combination of two conceptual frameworks of patriarchy and livelihood was applied to answer the research questions, where the conceptualisation of patriarchy follows the idea of the importance of culture in explaining the experience of rural women in matters of land ownership, whilst livelihood was important in order to provide an understanding of the impacts of cultural practices applied in land issues on the livelihood of rural women, since securing of livelihood can be done when a person have access to resources, which enhances their capabilities to earn a living. Both frameworks are derivate of Amartya Sen and Chambers & Conway’s definition, and were situated within the mode of application done by three development actors who are UNDP, DFID, and CARE. The study is structured into two phases, in which phase 1 consists of document analysis, while phase 2 carries the case study where a purposive sampling of Local Government officials and local female villagers was made and employed semi-structured interviews as the data collection approach. The findings insinuates that, cultural practices, assumptions, beliefs, customary laws and national laws have not only led to the dispossession of rural women in land ownership, but also lowered the social position of women in household decision making processes. As a consequence, this constrains the capability of rural women to earn a living since land is the major asset needed for them to secure their livelihood. The findings concluded that there is a need for reconsideration of the prevailing patriarchal assumptions in the land ownership discourse, which largely focuses on male and disregard the position of their female counterparts. (Less)
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author
Kopweh, Clement Peter LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
sustainability science, patriarchy, rural women, customary laws, poverty, livelihood
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2016:015
language
English
id
8894790
date added to LUP
2016-11-09 15:30:05
date last changed
2016-11-09 15:30:05
@misc{8894790,
  abstract     = {In rural Tanzania, customary laws and practices have for over 50 years been the major constraints of women’s land rights and livelihood. According to customs, a man has inherent powers to own and control land, and he is considered to be the rightful heir of such resource, and a woman is not. In most cases, women get to experience such disposition in matters of inheritance, succession, and division of matrimonial properties after divorce. This study is aimed to investigate on the experience of rural women brought by the laws and cultural practices applied in ownership of land, and how these laws and practices affect women’s livelihood in Tanzania. A combination of two conceptual frameworks of patriarchy and livelihood was applied to answer the research questions, where the conceptualisation of patriarchy follows the idea of the importance of culture in explaining the experience of rural women in matters of land ownership, whilst livelihood was important in order to provide an understanding of the impacts of cultural practices applied in land issues on the livelihood of rural women, since securing of livelihood can be done when a person have access to resources, which enhances their capabilities to earn a living. Both frameworks are derivate of Amartya Sen and Chambers & Conway’s definition, and were situated within the mode of application done by three development actors who are UNDP, DFID, and CARE. The study is structured into two phases, in which phase 1 consists of document analysis, while phase 2 carries the case study where a purposive sampling of Local Government officials and local female villagers was made and employed semi-structured interviews as the data collection approach. The findings insinuates that, cultural practices, assumptions, beliefs, customary laws and national laws have not only led to the dispossession of rural women in land ownership, but also lowered the social position of women in household decision making processes. As a consequence, this constrains the capability of rural women to earn a living since land is the major asset needed for them to secure their livelihood. The findings concluded that there is a need for reconsideration of the prevailing patriarchal assumptions in the land ownership discourse, which largely focuses on male and disregard the position of their female counterparts.},
  author       = {Kopweh, Clement Peter},
  keyword      = {sustainability science,patriarchy,rural women,customary laws,poverty,livelihood},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {The story of a post-feminist in post-patriarchy : the consequences of customary laws and practices on rural women’s land rights and livelihoods in Tanzania},
  year         = {2016},
}