Gender and Land Rights Database


Rights entrenched in the Constitution


The new Constitution adopted in 2010

- Endeavours to eliminate of gender discrimination in law, customs and practices related to land and property in land;

- Section 8 introduces an important change: freehold land and leasehold interests of over 99 years cannot be owned by a non-Kenyan citizen. This means that as of 27 August 2010, freehold land owned by a non-Kenyan citizen and any leasehold interest held by a non-Kenyan citizen with an unexpired term of over 99 years is deemed to be converted into a 99 year lease. 

- Section 21(3) states that all State organs and all public officers have the duty to address the needs of vulnerable groups within society, including women, older members of society, persons with disabilities, children, youth, members of minority or marginalised communities, and members of particular ethnic, religious or cultural communities.

- Section 27(3): women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres.

- Section 45(3): parties to a marriage are entitled to equal rights at the time of the marriage, during the marriage and at the dissolution of the marriage.

- Section 53(1)(e): every child has the right to parental care and protection, which includes equal responsibility of the mother and father to provide for the child, whether they are married to each other or not; and

- The new Constitution lists the proportion of women in public institutions (two-thirds)

- Section 59(1)(b) establishes the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission to promote gender equality and equity generally and to coordinate and facilitate gender mainstreaming in national development; 

- Section 60(1): lists the principles of land policy. They include:

               -   equitable access to land; 

               -   security of land rights; 

               -   elimination of gender discrimination in law, customs and practices related to land and property in land; 

              -   encouragement of communities to settle land disputes through recognised local community initiatives;

- Section 91(1)(f): every political party shall respect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and gender equality and equity; 

- Section 91(2)(a): a political party cannot be founded on the basis of a religious, linguistic, racial, ethnic, gender or regional basis or seek to engage in advocacy of hatred on any such basis; 

- Section 172(2)(b): the Judicial Service Commission shall be guided by the promotion of gender equality