База данных по гендерной проблематике и правам на землю


Преобладающие системы землепользования


The National Land Policy, 2004 recognised two modes of land acquisition, namely acquisition according to customary law or conceptions, and acquisition according to the rules of the formal law.


The Organic Land Law of 2005 recognises three categories of land:

- Individual ownership of land

Article 11: Individual land is composed of the land acquired through custom, written law which excludes public land or district, town, municipality and the City of Kigali land, the one acquired from competent authorities, purchased land, gift, exchange and sharing.

- State land:

Article 12: State land which makes up the public domain consists of all the land meant to be used by public or land reserved for organs of state services as well as national land reserved for environmental protection […]

- District, Town and Municipality land:

Article 16: District, Town and Municipality land consist of the land meant for public domain of the district and town or municipality and their private owned land.  


In customary law, land acquisition can take place either:

- Through land occupation:  land ownership is held by whoever occupies the land first

However, Article 1 of Decree-law No. 09/76 of 4th March 1976 established a presumption of state ownership and “all land not held under the written law and affected or not by customary law or land occupation belongs to the State.”

- Through inheritance: land rights are passed on from father to son and girls are excluded from inheritance of the family land from the father. Widows only have user rights over the land that belonged to their deceased husbands. 

 - Through transfer by sale or as a donation: in its original customary conception, land was owned collectively and any disposal of land was therefore inconceivable. With the introduction of the subdivision of land into individual plots due to successive inheritance procedures, each family owner of a plot of land was considered as the real owner of the plot, having the right to dispose of it as it wishes. However, Article 2 of the Decree-law No. 09/76 of 4th March 1976 stipulates that nobody may sell off his land rights except with the written authorization of the Minister of Lands upon the recommendation of the Municipal Council where the land is located. 

- By prescription:  introduced by formal law that fixed the time limit of acquisition by prescription to 10 years. This conflicts with the perception that once a right has been acquired or recognized, even customarily, it is indefeasible. (8)


In formal law land acquisition in rural areas can take place through

- Long lease contracts of land for agricultural purposes for a period of 15 years or more in rural areas. 

- Free assignment contracts to natural or legal persons for social activities with real impact on the welfare of the people. (8)


The special case of the landless people in rural areas:

These are mostly the refugees of 1959 who were forced into exile for political reasons and left their land behind. These same refugees have now returned to their country and find themselves landless. They cannot claim back their previously owned land which has been occupied by other Rwandans who remained in the country, because the Arusha Peace Accords fixed the time limit for acquisition by prescription to 10 years. (8) 

Национальные и местные учреждения, обеспечивающие соблюдение правил землепользования


With the National Land Policy, 2004 and its implementing Organic Land Law, 2005 the Goverment took a clear a stand in favour of the systematic land registration of land by all legal land owners – irrespective of how the land was acquired – as a way to improve land tenure security.


The legal and policy framework set up a whole institutional structure designed to facilitate land registration. However, the lack of capacity is a challenge to implementation. Coordination between the different government land-related institutions still remains a challenge.


The National Land Commission 

- is responsible for providing guidance to the operations of the National Land Centre 


The National Land Centre (NLC)

- This is the highest level of the land registration institutions and the most active

- It is governed by Law No. 20/2009 of 29/07/2009 which makes it the implementing agency for the Organic Land Law, 2005. It does so by:

o Advising MINIRENA on policy review and legislation related to land and procedures and guidelines to be followed in implementing the land reform 

o Supporting, supervising and coordinating all activities related to land administration and land use management 

o Administering and issuing leases, title deeds and certificates on land in all categories 

o Managing all land-related activities in the country, including those related to information and mapping


The Office of the Registrar of Land Titles 

- It is regulated by Presidential Order No. 53/01 of 12/10/2006 determining the structure, the powers and the functioning of the office of the registrar of land titles

- Article 2: Its structure is as follows:

o 1 National Office with National Registrar of Land Titles 

o 5 Zonal Offices with Deputy Registrar of Land Titles 

- Their purpose is to:

o Register and maintain records for land ownership throughout the country 

o Monitor and coordinate the activities of the Deputy Registrar 

o Be responsible for capacity building for the organs responsible for land registration 


The District Land Commission (DLC)

- Each District has a Land Commission 

- Their purpose is to:

o Coordinate land use management and administration at national/District level 

o Ensure that land committees are directly involved in land adjudication and conflict resolution 


The District Land Bureaux (DLB)

- Each District has a District Land Bureau 

- They report to the District Land Commission 

- Their purpose is to:

o Maintain land-related records and archives 

o Authorise and approve surveys and plans 

o Prepare and implement land use plans for Districts, municipalities and towns 

o Monitor use and management of land resources in the District and report on unutilised/unoccupied land 

o Manage private state owned land as provided by the land law 

o Train and provide support to sector land offices, cell-land committees and other stakeholders.


Sector Land Offices, and The Cell Land Committees  

- These are local level bodies that are responsible for land allocation at their respective administrative units and are also part of the land adjudication committee.


Despite this institutional structure, the population still lacks a clear understanding of the strategic linkage between the land registration process and the land rights of Rwandan women and men. In particular, the message hasn’t reached the poor rural women who depend on land for their livelihood. (9) 

Органы государственного земельного управления и доля участия женщин


In line with CEDAW’s recommendations, the Government has taken constitutional and legislative measures to speed the process of achieving de facto equality between men and women especially with regards to women’s representation and participation in decision-making bodies.

Article 9 of the 2003 Constitution for instance, lists women’s 30 percent representation in decision-making bodies among the fundamental principles.  


In the same vein, the Law No. 42/2000 of 15/12/2000 governing local administrative elections in Rwanda, as amended by Law No. 13/2002 of 12/03/2002, provides for a minimum quota of one-third for women.


Through the policy of decentralising decision-making bodies, rural women are now members of local administrative bodies, in which they participate in preparing community development programmes. (7)

Финансирование и положения, гарантирующие женщинам сделки с землей


The Government has sought to combat the feminisation of poverty through the creation of guarantee funds for women seeking a bank loan or credit. The government guarantee funds are administered by the National Bank of Rwanda to facilitate access to credit for poor female entrepreneurs:


- The Woman’s Guarantee Fund enables women who have no collateral or credit record to access finance for income-generating activities. Women have to submit a viable business proposal to a bank or micro-credit institution. If the financial institution accepts the proposal, the fund guarantees 50 per cent of the loan for individuals and 75 per cent for group loans. The maximum loan is 5 million FRW for individual loans and 10 million for group loans, with a three year repayment period. Financial institutions are expected to have a focal point to support applicants, and access to loans for women living in rural areas is seen as a priority. (10)


- The AVEGA Guarantee Fund enables genocide widows – whose business plan is approved – to have a loan with an interest rate set at 12 per cent. (10)


- The Retrenched Public Servants Guarantee Fund is equally available to men and women and guarantees 50 per cent of the loan and an interest rate of 10 per cent for applicants whose business plans are approved. The ceiling for individual loans is 5 million FRW, and 10 million FRW for group loans. (10)


In addition, there are also Savings and Loans Cooperatives and other institutions which can provide finance for starting up or developing an income-generating activity. These include:

- Microcredit funds /Umurenge SACCOs: they are now available in every district and are specifically targeted at rural women. Women's associations have also contributed to this campaign, by establishing savings and microcredit co-operatives, and the Rwandan Association of Women Entrepreneurs has set up a savings and loan bank. (7)

- People’s Bank for Women’s Programme

- COOPEDUC is a savings and credit cooperative started by the women’s Association DUTERIMBER (10)

Другие социальные, экономические и политические факторы, оказывающие воздействие на гендерную дифференциацию земельных прав


Despite the efforts deployed by the GoR and the great progress made in the last decades, there are still some major obstacles to reducing poverty among women and to securing their access to land. Among them are:

- The unequal division of labour, which places an extra burden on women especially in rural areas.

- The low level of education and vocational qualifications of women.

- The lack of access to adequate means of production (7)

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