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Women's housing, land and property rights: a recipe for political instability in post-conflict Burundi

Journal article
Authors Ngambouk Vitalis Pemunta
Ngo Valery Ngo
Rosaline Yumumkah Cumber
Published in International Journal of Gender Studies in Developing Societies
Volume x
Issue y
Pages 1
ISSN 2052-0360
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Medicine
Pages 1
Language en
Keywords post-conflict reconstruction; sustainable peace; gender inequality; inheritance law; property rights; tenure security; women’s human rights.
Subject categories Economics and Business, Social and Economic Geography, Law, Political Science


In post-conflict Burundi, land scarcity, rapid population growth, the heightened commodification of land serve as triggers to conflict and violence and significantly threaten the sustainability of long-term peace. This article interrogates the ways land tenure reforms affect women’s housing, land and property (HLP) rights in Burundi despite decades of intense mobilisation by progressive women’s groups, the recently adopted national land code is still to be fully implemented. The paper argues that gender-neutral land reforms and law enforcement mechanisms interact with the failure to fully implement the national land code, multiple normative orders and social forces and tend to reinforce male hegemony over land. Although customary land tenure is the mantra of the tenure reform process, and tends to strengthen women’s land rights, the various reform measures are skewed in favour of men. The failure to reform the marriage and succession laws is the most significant factor barring women’s land rights. The adoption and implementation of laws that guarantee an equal right to inheritance between the sexes, sensitisation of, and the provision of legal aid to women claiming their land rights in front of conflict management institutions are required.

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