Engendering Access to Justice: Grassroots women’s approaches to securing land rights

The community-based study has three purposes: 1. Highlight the multitude of issues and challenges facing African women in relation to land and property. 2. Document the main strategies that grassroots women’s groups are using to help women attain justice, either by working within or influencing customary legal frameworks, or by assisting women to access the court system, in order to develop a cohesive series of strategies for grassroots women-led groups to use in achieving justice in relation to land and property. 3. Provide evidence that can be used to insert grassroots women’s perspectives and practices into the existing development discourse on women’s access to justice in relation to land and property, particularly within the African context.

It finds broadly that the most important components of successful approaches are: community sensitization and training sessions on customary and statutory legal systems; community mapping; local-to-local dialogues with headmen, chiefs, and local leaders; • the use of community paralegals for information, advice, and access to resources for grassroots women; the use of watchdogs to identify and highlight problems in a community; and, • the development of partnerships with key stakeholders. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions – Annotated Bibliography]

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