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Universität zu Köln (2007)

Poverty and the Gendered Dimension of Land Rights in Southeast Tanzania : A Case of Nyangao Village, Lindi

Soko, Grace

Titre : Poverty and the Gendered Dimension of Land Rights in Southeast Tanzania : A Case of Nyangao Village, Lindi

Auteur : Soko, Grace

Université de soutenance : Universität zu Köln.

Grade : Doctoral 2007

Poverty in developing countries is a result of various factors which affect people�s well being. This study analyses parameters surrounding gender biased access to land in investigating the phenomena of poverty in Lindi district, south east Tanzania. Of particular importance are gendered rights of land use, access, ownership and control. In this study, gender as a tool of analysis has been used throughout and this has broadened the perspective of women�s land rights in a village (rural) setting. Since Tanzania is an agrarian country, land can be considered as one of the fundamental factors in analysing poverty. While few people in rural Tanzania enjoy other modes of survival, for example wage employment, many Tanzanians are mostly engaged in farming activities. However, little is known about the increasing insecurity of women over land matters. Most of the country�s land tenure systems give women access to land not in their own right. Their right is widely determined by their relationship with men, in particular as wives. In this sense, land tenure systems have affected women and men differently. Consequentially, the relative distribution of poverty between women and men differs significantly. The study addresses women�s disadvantages in land matters and establishes a connection to their poor socio-economic situation. This study establishes a close relationship between marriage and women�s land rights. This suggests that gender role is a major factor influencing women�s land rights at household level. It has increased women�s land tenure insecurity and hence increased their vulnerability to poverty. The main focus of this study is directed towards gender related aspects of land tenure rights. In addition, the study analyses the kind of land rights that societies in Tanzania (represented by the Nyangao case study) accord to women on their own capacity. Other specific objectives are : 1. to analyse local views on poverty 2. to assess the conditions under which women acquire and control land 3. to identify factors which either facilitate or constrain women�s efforts towards poverty reduction as far as ownership and control over land is concerned in a male dominated socio-economic framework 4. to assess the gender division of labour and household decision making. The findings from this study shows that women�s vulnerability to poverty in Nyangao village is a result of both socio-cultural and socio-economic factors. Those findings point to the fact that women heads of households in Nyangao village enjoy land tenure rights through allocation by the village government. Furthermore, the findings report that there is an increase in the number of female-headed households who were allocated land by their parents. This is contrary to the patriarchal orientation (currently followed by societies in south-east Tanzania) and poses a challenge to that system as it encourages the evolution of land transfers beyond patriarchially defined procedures. The study also reveals that the Nyangao women�s land holding status is threatened by the agrarian reforms as influenced by the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) and economic liberalization. In this, land allocation provided by parents which were beneficial to women especially single mothers are increasingly being threatened by land privatisation and commoditization. Furthermore the findings reveal that the relatively gender sensitive intra-household redistribution of land and the encouraging new direction (as obtained from the respondents views) towards equal inheritance rights between female and male children suggests that this may lead to the eventual creation of women�s economic independence. Women�s access and control over land may create welfare, efficiency, equity and empowerment. This is expected to reduce gender inequality which is an important mechanism for poverty reduction. This study is based on the qualitative and quantitative data, collected between August and December 2003. The primary emphasis is placed on qualitative data due to the nature of the study. Both primary and secondary sources of data collection were consulted. A case study of Nyangao village located in Lindi rural district, Lindi region, south-east Tanzania was selected and used as a source of primary data. The qualitative data were collected through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), in-depth interviews, life histories and observation. The study also used structured questionnaires. A total of 180 sampled respondents from 180 sampled households were selected. While quantitative data was analysed by using the SPSS package, the qualitative data was manually processed and interpreted.

Mots clés  : Poverty , Gender , Land Rights — Armut , Geschlecht , Landrechten


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