Women’s Land Rights in Ethiopia. Securing Women’s Resource Rights through Gender Transformative Approaches

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This review summarizes relevant findings from the socio-legal analysis conducted in Ethiopia. It combines the review of key legal and policy documents and literature on existing barriers to the recognition of women’s land rights. The review analyzes existing tenure systems, identifies tenure interventions recognizing rights to women, as well as barriers constraining their ability to benefit from those rights. Most of the land in Ethiopia is under statutory tenure, landholding certification is the most important land tenure intervention recognizing land rights. Constitutional Reforms adopted since 1995 specify principles to protect women’s rights, including provisions to recognize and enforce their rights to land and resources through a land certification process which ensured women’s engagement. Since 1998, Ethiopia’s massive rural landholding certification process has certified over 20 million plots. Despite these advancements in gender-responsive policy, Ethiopian land tenure practices continue to be characterized by the marginalization and invisibilization of women.

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