Women, Land and Empowerment in Rwanda

Pamela Abbott, Roger Mugisha, Roger Sapsford

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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Rwanda has recently registered all legal owners of land and has required spouses to be registered as co-owners of joint property; this is aimed at contributing to the empowerment of women, among many other things. A 2015 survey explored the impact of law and official practice on women’s empowerment – whether they knew their rights and whether they could claim them. The conclusion is that there has indeed been some impact. The problems of women’s subordination remain, however, given patriarchal attitudes, unequally shared decision-making, and a tension between Rwanda’s espousal of the Rule of Law on the one hand and the principle of dialogue and consensus on the other. Moreover, the position of a substantial proportion of women, in unregistered domestic partnerships, has not changed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1022
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of International Development
Issue number6
Early online date24 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Land Tenure Regularisation
  • inheritance
  • women’s empowerment
  • Rwanda
  • patriarchy
  • consensus governance


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