Women's access to land and their role
Pala, Achola 0.
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This paper is part of a case study of recent and contemporary changes in rural Luq economy and society in Kisumu District of Kenya. It examines in particular the productive role of women in regard to changing patterns in access to land, land use and subsistence agriculture. The central issue discussed in the paper is women's land rights in relation to those of men. Special attention is focussed on the land reform programme whose implementation is nearing completion in the district and its impact on access rights of women and men in land. It is pointed out that the transfer (or intention to transfer) of the final right to dispose of land from a communal (lineage) to an individual basis has two structural consequences. First it creates a new legal basis for the control of the individual over resources especially because land is the basis of rural livelihood in the area. Second in so far as the registered title holders are mainly men the programme merely modernises the proprietory control over women by men. More specifically it is pointed-out that weakening of women's usufructory rights by the programme is likely to be more disadvantageous for childless women, women with only daughters and widows in the latter category.