The customary land tenure system and women's access to land in Bipare and Kafinarou : border area between northern Cameroon and the south west of Chad
This paper presents and analyses data about women challenging customary land tenure arrangements as they strive to gain access to the farming land they need. The research was conducted in the Mambay community located in northern Cameroon on the border with Chad. The thesis examines just how rural women manage to get access to land despite the obstacles that customary land tenure system put in their way. It’s clear that ‘customary’ law is always in the process of adapting itself to modern economic conditions; to what is actually going on in the everyday lives of the tillers and the owners of land. Increasing land scarcity and the introduction of money into most local land transactions have transformed arable fields into high value commodities. These and many other changes have important repercussions for local land relations and feed back into the way the customary tenure system operates. At the same time, women’s husbands and father’s lineages are no longer the only social spheres that predetermine their opportunities to access land. By making strategic use of money, as well as kinship and membership groups, women continue to redefine the arrangements that govern their access to farming land. As a consequence of this we can observe certain social transformations, particularly concerning gender labour division and women’s role in production and social reproduction.
The thesis is accompanied by a film, which is not available in Munin.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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