Discriminatory Cultural Practices On Youths And Women’S Access To Family Land Among The Ndali: Insights From Local Leaders In The Southern Highlands Zone In Tanzania | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
January 2022
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Copyright (c) 2022 African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences

This paper presents empirical evidences of cultural barriers to women and the youths in accessing family land among the Ndali tribe, drawing insights on the cultural practices and social norms. The evidence emanates from discussions with local leaders: members of Village Land Councils and members of the Village Councils from six villages namely Itumba, Isongole, Nyenzebwe, Mlale, Ilulu and Izuba. A total of 65 leaders (26 females and 39 males) took part in the focus group discussion during a seminar on the Tanzanian land laws.Empirical evidences have shown that access to land held under customary tenure for both women and the youth within the Ndali tribe is largely influenced by multiple cultural norms including patrilineal lineage, commoditization of women through dowry payment upon marriage, and gender-based discrimination on inheritance.The dominant patrilineal lineage does not recognize women rights to land. Women are considered temporary members in the clans i.e. as daughters who will get married or wives who may leave upon divorce. Women are considered commodities purchased through dowry and, therefore, not qualified to inherit land on the husband’s clan land. As such, family or clan land is passed over through male family members. For the youths, the main cultural barrier is associated with the timing of inheritance. It was observed that it is a common practice for male youth to inherit clan and family land at the passing on of the male head of the family. The youth remain landless and only access use rights. The observed cultural barriers suggest that the legal framework which govern land management and provides for equal access to land is not well understood.  There is need to put in place strategies for creating awareness of the laws to curb continued discriminative cultural norms and practices.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Fredrick Bwire Magina, Agnes Nkundwe Mwasumbi

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