Gender and Land Rights Database

Liberia

Civil society and indigenous people’s organizations advocating for equality of land rights

 

  • Foundation for Community Initiatives (FCI) – Liberian development NGO, worked with REFACOF on convening a regional workshop and developing recommendations for women’s land rights.
  • Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia – involved in Women’s Land Rights Task Force (USAID funded).  
  • Green Advocates – environmentally-focused law organization, with a strong focus on human rights.  They are also involved in the Women’s Land Rights Task Force. 
  • Women Journalists of Liberia – also involved in Women’s Land Rights Task Force. 
  • Sustainable Development Institute Liberia – has a community land protection program that works on women’s land rights. Their website has some blog posts and newsletters mentioning women’s land rights, but gender does not seem to be a major program focus. 

 

Local decision-making organizations and women’s representation in them

Women in Liberia are not fully involved in decision-making processes. Some women hold key government positions, but the overall political representation in leadership and decision-making bodies remain low. Men hold sway in the judiciary and at the County level, administrative structures have traditionally been dominated by male officials, chiefs and elders. This unequal sharing of power and opportunities has meant that women’s needs and priorities have not been sufficiently reflected in policy and law making processes. (5) 

 

Legal Information and capacity development on land rights

The National Gender Policy Ministry of Gender and Development (2010 – 2015) highlighted the weak capacity of legal and judicial institutions to provide equitable access to justice for the poor. Inadequate staffing both in law enforcement and adjudication, inadequate capacity of the existing justice system to process caseloads, as well as limited knowledge of rights and negative attitudes of law enforcers make it particularly difficult for women to seek justice. Legal aid to the vulnerable and indigent is almost non-existent. The underrepresentation of women in the justice sector, corruption, and lack of protection of the rights of women and children hinder the enforcement and protection of women’s fundamental freedoms and rights as enshrined in the Constitution. (5)

 

Civil Procedure Law - Title 1 - Liberian Code of Laws Revised

§ 5.11. Capacity generally.

1. Natural persons. Every natural person shall have capacity to sue and be sued, except as otherwise provided in this subchapter.

§ 5.14. Married women.

When a right of action accrues in favour of or against a married woman, her husband must be joined with her except when the action is between her and her husband or when she sues or is sued in connection with a business or enterprise in which she is engaging under her own name in accordance with the provisions of the Domestic Relations Law. In no case shall it be necessary for her to appear by guardian. 

 

Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography