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Gender and rural land reform in Ethiopia: reform process, tenure security, and investment

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posted on 2023-06-09, 09:30 authored by Hanane Sharif Ahmed
This thesis consists of three inter-related empirical papers. It examines the gender dimensions of rural land reform process and impacts by exploring the accessibility and benefits of land-use certificates for female household heads vis-à-vis male household heads in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. The existing literature lacks a gender lens of the reform process and impacts. The first paper examines the factors that determine which lands are included in the household’s land-use certificate (status of certification), when during the reform process they become included (timing of certification), and whether there are gender differentials in each of these outcomes. The findings show that there was gender bias in the rural land reform process of the Amhara region in terms of both outcomes. The second paper examines the impact of land-use certificates and socioeconomic factors on household perceived tenure security by gender. The findings suggest that what consistently matters more for enhancing perceived tenure security of both male, and particularly female household heads is possession of legal documented rights to land holdings i.e. land-use certificates. The impact of socioeconomic factors such as male presence in the household, mode of production or land use do not seem to be relevant for determining the perceived tenure security of male and female household heads. The third paper examines the impact of land-use certificates and socioeconomic factors on land related investments by gender. The findings suggest that land-use certificates are significant determinants for enhancing land investments among both male and female household heads, although a relatively lesser impact on the latter group is observed. While the findings show that land-use certificates are important for enhancing land related investments, the results also suggest that the impact of socioeconomic factors are relevant for the female household heads such as renting-out land, and male presence in the household.


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