Endangered Culture The Changing Landscape Of Matrilineal Land Ownership In Rural Communities In Kasanga Settlement In Morogoro, Tanzania | Land Portal

Informations sur la ressource

Date of publication: 
janvier 2022
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
LP-AJOLPGS-0000014
Copyright details: 
Copyright (c) 2022 African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences

ABSTRACT African culture and tradition on matrilineal land ownership are on the verge of disappearing. Land ownership in rural communities remains an important cultural dimension to secure livelihoods, economic growth, and sustainable development. Gender relations continue to interfere culture and tradition of matrilineal communities. Migration has changed the community and influenced the land ownership transformation from women to men. Given the general statistics in the dominant patrilineal societies’ women are routinely and systematically denied equal rights to access, use, inherit, control and own land. This means that women and their children also miss out on the vast advantages that come with property rights, putting their health, safety, economic security, and political rights in jeopardy. Different studies associate this with the unwritten customary laws applicable to their communities which must be proven in a court as a question of fact whenever the customary law of the matrilineal community is invoked.Goal and Objectives:This research aimed at investigating the experience of matrilineal societies’ land ownership transformation from matrilineal to patrilineal linage. Moreover, uncover the complexity of such transformation and how it affects women who depend wholly on matrilineal culture for land ownership.Methodology:Our study was based at Kasanga settlement in Morogoro, Tanzania. The study was purely qualitative. The research methods used in data collection were interviews, mapping and focus group discussion. A total number of 76 households were involved in the interviews. The findings indicated that the remaining community with matrilineal culture is disappearing.Results:The complex nature of transformed land ownership has ended up creating unequal communities. In these communities, it would be expected that most people who own land were supposed to be women. However, the ongoing land ownership transformation creates an alarm to remaining matrilineal communities. It is indicated that land ownership in Kasanga village entails more than 50% of the land is owned by males. Although 20 years ago, more than 60% of women constituted most of the landowners.  Access to land has changed so much over the past 20 years; migration into Kasanga village contributed to the social mix. Currently, access to land through purchase is almost dominating and make 30.3%, inheritance account for 32.8%, gift 7.9% and allocation by the village councils 2.6% and 26.3% do not own land at all.  60.9% of those people purchased land at Kasanga are males while female constitutes 39.1% only. The lineage has shifted from matrilineal to patrilineal by 7% and 93%, respectively.There is a high level of discrimination in land ownership due to changes in land ownership at Kasanga settlement as the patrilineal is becoming dominant, covering 78%, followed by mixed or joint ownership, which takes 15% and the remaining 7% are matrilineal. The communities who depended on matrilineal linage to access land are robbed of their right to access the essential resource. Only 23.07% of women have access to housing, whilst 56.41% are male.  80% of women who own land and have access to housing are in lousy condition. The migrants' communities into Kasanga village have changed the whole spectrum of matrilineal linage and forced traditional women to become landless. Others inherit a minimal share of land, and some are marginalized, limiting their access to housing. Following these changes, women face several challenges in accessing land, such as being given a small share of land; some are not given land as they are believed to be able to add value to it.

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Nelly John Babere, Beatrice Nepo Mbeya

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