Landless women, hopeless women? Gender, land and decentralisation in Niger | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2006
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

This study aims to identify how women's capacity to become more involved in decision-making at the local level can be strengthened, particularly in terms of access to natural resources. It also aims to identify the structures through which women secure their systems of production. It focuses on the situation in Niger, where women are increasingly excluded from dominant systems of production: in agricultural areas, they are increasingly excluded from agricultural production and in pastoralist areas, they have lost their herds and had to resort to agriculture. This had devastating effects on their livelihoods, their social and economic opportunities and on their extended family who often take on extra work and responsibilities and suffer from food insecurity. Women have traditionally gained access to land through a customary practice of borrowing land, which is also under threat. New ways to access land (e.g. pledges and purchases) have mainly been used by a minority of better-off and better-informed women. A system of land commissions is facilitating the legalisation of land transaction but it often clashes with traditional systems for regulating modes of access to land like loans and donations. The model of female leadership is also in crisis as their exclusion from the dominant system of production no longer allows them to achieve social status and well-being.

Authors and Publishers

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

M. Diarra
M. Monimart


Data provider

BRIDGE is a research and information programme located within IDS Knowledge Services. We are part of a global movement whose vision is a world where gender equality, dignity and social justice prevail, where poverty is eliminated and where human rights – including women’s rights - are realised.

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