ISBN 9789956726837
Pages 178
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Published 2012
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Issues in Women's Land Rights in Cameroon

edited by Lotsmart Fonjong

This book explores the customary, social, economic political and rights issues surrounding access, ownership and control over land from a gender perspective. It combines theory and practice from researchers, lawyers and judges, each with track records of working on women and rights concerns. The nexus between the reluctance to recognize and materialize women's right to land, and the increasing feminization of poverty is undeniable. The problem assumes special acuity in an essentially agrarian context like Cameroon, where the problem is not so much the law as its manner of application. That this book delves into investigating the principal sources and reasons for this prevalent injustice is particularly welcome. As some of the analyses reveal, denying women their right to land acquisition or inheritance is sometimes contrary to established judicial precedents and even in total dissonance with the country's constitution. Traditional and cultural shibboleths associated with land acquisition and ownership that tend to stymie women's development and fulfilment, must be quickly shirked, for such retrograde excuses can no longer find comfort in the law, morality nor in "modern" traditional thinking. The trend, albeit timid, of appointing women to Land Consultative Boards and even as traditional authorities, can only be salutary. These are some positive practical steps that can translate the notion of equal rights into "equal power" over land for both sexes; otherwise "equality" in this context will remain an unattractive slogan.

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Review

“This book covers, from varied angles, a range of important issues pertaining to women’s right (or the lack thereof) over land. From barebones philosophical perspectives such as the concept of “power and rights”, through the legal, economic and social standpoint, the book treats this topical question from a multi-dimensional perspective, and does it well. The varied backgrounds of the contributors give it special flavour – university lecturers of diverse academic disciplines and those involved in the daily application of the law (judges and legal practitioners).The result is an insightful theoretical analysis tempered by a refreshing blend of practical narratives. The reader will also be pleased to learn some of the lessons of comparative experience from abroad (South Africa and Uganda).”

Professor GALEGA Samgena, Head of Department of Law (English), University of Douala, Cameroon

About the Editor

Lotsmart Fonjong

Lotsmart Fonjong is Professor of Geography at the University of Buea. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography (University of Yaoundé 1), M.A. in Development Studies, (University of Leeds, UK), and Certificate in International Human Rights (University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA). He has been Adjunct Professor and Visiting Scholar to some universities in the United States. He currently serves on the board of the Research Committee on Environment and Society of ISA and is author of several scientific articles on land grabbing, NGOs, development, gender, climate change and natural resources in Africa. His recent books include: Interrogating Large-Scale Land Acquisition and its Implications for Women’s Land rights in Cameroon, Ghana and Uganda (2017) and Saving the Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa, co-published with William Markham by Palgrave in 2015.

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