Gender and Land Rights Database

Ethiopia

Direitos consagrados na Constituição

The Constitution, adopted in 1994 came into force on 21 August 1995:

  • Article 9 [1]: “The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Any law, customary practice or a decision of an organ of state or a public official which contravenes this Constitution shall be of no effect.”
  • Article 25 states that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law without any discrimination on the basis of sex. 
  • Articles 34 [1] and 35 [2] explicitly recognize men and women’s equal rights while entering into, during marriage and at the time of divorce
  • Article 34 [4] allows for the enactment of a law recognizing religious and customary marriages.
  • Article 35 [1]: “Women shall, in the enjoyment of rights and protections provided for by this Constitution, have equal right with men.”
  • Article 35 [3] allows for affirmative measures to remedy the historical legacy of inequality and discrimination suffered by women in the country, enabling them to “participate and compete” equally with men in political, economic and social fields.
  • Article 35 [4] states that laws, customs, practices and stereotyped ideas that oppress women and adversely affect their physical and mental well-being are prohibited.
  • Article 35 [7] recognizes women’s equal rights to acquire, administer, control, use, transfer and administer property. They shall also enjoy equal treatment in the inheritance of property. 
  • Article 40 [1] guarantees the right to property. This right shall include the right to use and enjoy and to sell and transfer property by succession or by any other means.
  • Article 40[3]: “The right to own rural and urban land and natural resources belongs only to the state and the people. Land is an inalienable common property of the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia.”
  • Article 40 [4]: “Ethiopian peasants have right to obtain land without payment and the protection against eviction from their possession.”
  • Article 40 [5]: “Ethiopian pastoralists have the right to free land for grazing and cultivation as well as the right not to be displaced from their own lands.”
  • Article 40 [6]: “Without prejudice to the right of Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples to the ownership of land, government shall ensure the right of private investors to the use of land on the basis of payment arrangements established by law. Particulars shall be determined by law.” 
  • Article 40 [7]: “Every Ethiopian shall have the full right to immovable property he builds on the land and to the improvements he brings about on the land by his labour or capital. This right shall include the right to alienate, to bequeath and, where right of use expires, to remove his property, transfer his title, or claim compensation for it.” (10)
  • Article 40 [8]: “Without prejudice to the right to private property, the government may expropriate private property for public purposes subject to payment in advance of compensation commensurate to the value of the property.”
  • Article 51 [5]: the Federal Government is responsible for enacting laws for the utilization and conservation of land and other natural resources, historical sites and objects.
  • Article 52 [2] [d] states that States have powers and functions to administer land and other natural resources in accordance with Federal Laws.
  • Article 97 [2] provides that States be responsible for determining and collecting fees for land usufractuary right (10).