Examining a rights-based approach in women's land rights claims project in a culturally diverse society : a comparative case study of ActionAid's intervention in Malawi's matrilineal and patrilineal communities
ForfatterChimbuto, Joseph George Salijeni
After noting the inadequacy in the previous development approaches to address the problem of underdevelopment in the developing world, development agencies are now turning to the application of a Rights-Based Approach (RBA), as a new development paradigm. Under RBA, the emphasis is more on the users’ rights rather than focusing on the result of the project only. With donor fatigue soaring, most of the NGOs are claiming the use of RBA, seen by critics as a label to guarantee easy access to funding. This study, using a case study of ActionAid Malawi’s one year women’s land rights claim project (2009-2010) in matrilineal and patrilineal communities of Malawi, the study indicates that despite cultural differences between the two, women face similar marginalisation in their land rights claims due to patriarchal beliefs and practices rooted in their society. The study further indicates that women in matrilineal community have an edge over their counterparts in patrilineal community owing to the fact that they have at least ownership rights to land as guarantee by customs. The research suggests that, land ownership does empower women. The study concludes that RBAs were inadequately applied in the WOLAR Project that left women, especially those from patrilineal community, by far a distant from attaining empowerment. Power relations continue to be a major factor violating women’s land rights in the communities to the benefit of men.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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