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Refereed articles

Securing land rights in rural communities of Nigeria: Policy approach to the problem of gender inequality - p 253.

A society’s ability to define and, within a broad system of the rule of law, establish institutions that can enforce property rights to natural assets has been found to be a critical precondition for social and economic development. The Nigerian Land Use Act of 1978 was meant to usher in a new land reform for the benefit of all, but it became a clog in the wheel of development over the years. Moreover, there has been a gender gap in the system which, in actual practice, leaves women more vulnerable in acquiring land rights, causing more conflicts and undermining the development process. With the advancement of civilization and intervention of non-governmental organizations, women’s discrimination and marginalisation with regard to land property rights have abated in the urban cities, but they still exist in most rural areas due to cultural and traditional practices in those areas. Hence, creating a framework for inclusive participation to generate ideas for equity and effective land policy in rural communities is necessary. This article studies the problem of gender inequality in securing land rights in rural communities of South-Eastern Nigeria to proffer useful policy recommendations. It makes use of the data from four focus group discussions and two problem solving workshops of the author’s doctoral field research.

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