From Male to Joint Land Ownership

    1. Study Information


      This section discusses the 2018 article by Jeannette Bayisenge, “From male to joint land ownership: Women’s experiences of the land tenure reform programme in Rwanda.”1

      The study was done in Musanze District between November 2012 and February 2013 using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The quantitative study targeted 480 women from agricultural households. The households each had a female over the age of 18, and there was an attempt to interview women with differing marital status. Qualitative data were collected at the district and sector level through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions.

    2. Questions posed
      • What are women’s experiences of their land rights in Rwanda post-land certification?
    3. Description of intervention

      The land registration and titling program was piloted in 2006. Between 2010 and 2013, 10.3 million land parcels were registered.

    4. Context of findings

      Rwanda has a fairly new progressive and gender sensitive legal framework. The rate of female-headed households is high, varying between 27.7% and 34% in the literature.

    5. Key findings

      A large majority of women had land titles, independently or jointly with their husbands. However, although 96% of the respondents came from households having land certificates, only 87% of the women were registered on that land.

      Women had limited knowledge about land related laws even if they had participated in regular local meetings. Only one out of five respondents had heard about the new laws, which were more favorable to women’s land rights. Attending information meetings and being part of a women’s association greatly increased the number of women with knowledge of the laws. Of the 82 women who knew about the laws (17.2%), 43 were members of women’s associations and 56 had attended information meetings about land registration and land laws.

    1. Bayisenge, J. (2018). "From male to joint land ownership: Women's experiences of the land tenure reform programme in Rwanda." Journal of Agrarian Change, 18(3), 588-605.