BUILDING EVIDENCE ON RURAL WOMEN STRUGGLES FOR LAND RIGHTS IN TANZANIA: THE QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE, RECOGNITION AND PARTICIPATION IN DECISION MAKING PROCESSES
By Godfrey Eliseus Massay
Land is one of the terrains of struggle for most rural women in Africa because of its importance in sustaining rural livelihoods, and social-cultural and geopolitical factors that hinder women from enjoying land rights. Even when there are progressive land laws, as it is for Tanzania, women have not really enjoyed their rights. However, this has not stopped women to keep fighting for their land rights. They have sought their own approaches by leveraging opportunities within traditional, religious, and formal systems standing for their rights.
Using three examples of interventions implemented by civil society organizations in Tanzania, this paper shows how rural women have been helped to overcome their straggles over land. Through their agencies, the paper argues that women have used both formal and informal systems to negotiate and mediate their claims on land. Although to the great extent the interventions chosen in this paper have been shaped and influenced by the work of civil society organizations, they have equally been influenced by rural women movements and rural women themselves. The cases selected in this paper provide lessons on the security of women land rights in both privately and communally held property/land. Download Below: