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Fighting the wrong battles: towards a new paradigm in the struggle for women’s land rights in Uganda

By: Land and Equity Movement in Uganda (LEMU)

This NGO report argues that campaigns aiming to safeguard and expand rural women’s land rights in Uganda need to transform their ideological and operational approaches to strengthen rather than undermine existing customary frameworks. Previous initiatives, the authors argue, have been unsuccessful because of profound misunderstandings of women’s rights in traditional rural culture. Many traditional systems of communal ownership in Uganda hold both women and men landholders to be equal trustees in land. However, in practice the core principles of fairness and trusteeship are often violated. The authors argue that instead of imposing external concepts of women’s rights, activists should endeavor to make traditional land authorities accountable to their own tenets and expand women’s co-ownership rights within their customary land tenure system.

Keywords: women’s land rights, gender equality, customary law, land co-ownership

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Uploaded on: Jul 01, 2015
Last Updated: Dec 08, 2015
Year Published: 2008
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