WOMEN’S RIGHTS TO LAND AND PROPERTY IN KENYA

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While women’s rights to land and property are protected under the Constitution of Kenya (2010) and various national legislations, in practice, women remain disadvantaged. The main restriction is customary law and practices, which prohibit women from owning or inheriting land and other forms of property. These customary laws and practices are enhanced by
stereotypical practices and socialization of women in believing they are not meant to own or inherit land or any other property. Customary practices in Kenya generally grant women secondary rights to land, namely through their relationships to a male relative, and women are rarely able to inherit land in their own right. In addition, women face serious obstacles in claiming their property rights either because they are unaware of their rights or they are unable to lay claim to this right.


According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), women in Kenya are only 5% of registered landholders in Kenya. This situation is a major driver of poverty and gender inequality,and merits special consideration by the Committee as it reviews Kenya’s implementation of
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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