Women face many problems with regard to land inheritance and land rights in Kenya. Individual and community land ownership do not favour women. The reason for this is that ownership of land is patrilineal, which means that fathers share land amongst sons, while excluding daughters. This practice is traditionally widespread and partly accepted although it goes against the interest of women and is prohibited by the constitution. Unjust land tenure regimes do not only endanger women’s livelihood, but also constitute an emotional as well as identity burden, as land is an emotional component of heritage in Kenya. From colonial period onwards, women’s rights over land were limited and the woman’s role was to fend and produce food for the family. Thus, women would use land only for this purpose and were therefore not allowed to have absolute ownership over land. As a result, women became more unduly disadvantaged in respect to use, access to and/or control of land and other valuable property, both as members of a household or as heads of households. Cultural traditions and practices concerning women’s use, access and control of land have worsened this situation.
Authors and Publishers
Samuel Kimeu, Mary Maneno,
Transparency International Kenya
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development.
Land Development and Governance Institute
MISSION: To contribute to improved livelihoods through offering a bridge between communities, stakeholders and policy makers in the promotion of equitable access and sustainable management of land and natural resources.