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Gender and Land Rights Database


HELD FROM JUNE 3 TO 23, 2013

Madagascar and legal pluralism:
Can customary and statutory law be reconciled to promote women’s land rights?

This first experience with the forum of the Land Portal allowed us to assess its potential as a tool for information dissemination.

A number of questions had been prepared to channel the discussion. They pertained to the position of women in customary institutions and their participation in customary law-making processes; the extent to which decentralisation contributed to women’s empowerment and the barriers to achieving tenure security for women.

Content of the discussion

Can customary and statutory law be reconciled to promote women’s land rights in Madagascar? The discussion provided some insight into this difficult question. In particular, it appears that the land reform that was initiated in 2005 has strengthened the link between statutory law and customary practices. However, the issue of women’s security of tenure is still pending. This is largely due to the lack of gender strategy in the land policy which perpetuates discrepancies between legislation and customary practices.

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