Securing Tenure for Sustainable Livelihoods: A Case of Women Land Ownership in Anglophone Cameroon
Series/Report no.Éthique et économique/Ethics and Economics;Volume 10, Numéro 2
The majority of women in Third World countries depend on land for their livelihood. Security of tenure is important for them to ensure sustainable development, especially in rural areas. In most parts of Africa, land ownership is affected by traditional values, inheritance rights, and government influence. These forces have provided varying types of tenure which are detrimental to the women in rural and urban areas. Land acquisition and its development has been an emotive issue due to traditional pressures and the law as regards the process of land certification. The government and traditional administrations are highly involved in the way women own land and subsequently develop it in Anglophone Cameroon. State authority over land acquisition is important, but the process for obtaining land title is herculean especially for the rural woman. This study illustrates that land acquisition and development by women constitute a problem because of traditional pressures and the law guiding the process of land certification. There is need to exhume the barriers of government’s legal instrument (The Land Consultative Board) that regulates the ownership of land and to revisit some traditional practices as regards land ownership that impact negatively on women in a changing and globalizing world. A compromise approach is advocated for land acquisition that can transcend traditional barriers as well as render the process of land registration more realistic especially for women.