Women's land and property rights in situations of conflict and reconstruction

Women's land and property rights in situations of conflict and reconstruction

The challenge of addressing inequalities that women face in land and inheritance rights

Despite advances in the international rights regime, persistent discrimination evident in the customary laws which regulate women's status in most traditional societies was a constant factor across cultural, social and political divides. The case-histories and testimonies recorded by the Kigali Consultation provide an insight into changes in land and inheritance rights brought about by conflict and its attendant social disruptions. Out of the acute distress experienced by women caught up in such circumstances, has grown a new realisation by the women themselves of their resilience and strength in adversity. Their stories testify to a new determination to assert women's rights in their productive, reproductive and ownership roles, all three representing long-term investments in their future communities and societies.

This report points in particular to the challenge of addressing inequalities that women face in land and inheritance rights. But it also presents us with many encouraging examples of success in doing so, including the importance of community development initiatives that work directly with women to solve local problems. And above all it underscores the vital importance of building sound institutions and equitable laws that can provide a dynamic and sustainable framework for men and women to work together rebuilding lives and livelihoods.

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