Base de données Genre et le Droit à la Terre


Pratiques de facto d’héritage/de succession

Under patrilineal systems, men have direct inheritance rights to land and housing property while women do not. As a matter of fact, women’s access to land use and benefits is dependent upon kinship or marriage (9).

Although statutory law states that spouses are both fourth in line for inheritance of the other half of the family assets, in practice, upon dissolution of marriage women are in a weak position compared to men due to the gender based social inequality that prevails in all spheres of the social life. This includes the possibility of women losing the custody of the children (9).

In the southern part of the country, patrilineal customary practices bestow primary inheritance rights on men who have the right to demand additional land territories from the traditional authorities. Male relatives or husbands regulate women’s access to land. Upon divorce or separation, the woman is forced to leave the husband’s household and return to her natal family (20).

In the northern part of the country, although matrilineal family systems prevail, control over land rights is vested in the maternal male relatives (20). When the husband dies, the wife can be obliged to reside with her husband’s nuclear family with her children and the right to property or inheritance is bestowed on the first-born son. The widow is only entitled to inherit the hut and other domestic utensils (11).

Sources:  Les nombres affichés entre parenthèse (*) font référence aux sources énumérées dans la Bibliographie.