Women, property and inheritance

    | January 7, 2013

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    This week’s stories focus on farmers who lost land through land grabs or urban expansion. Women are particularly vulnerable to loss of land because they often lack property rights. In many parts of Africa, customary laws deny a woman inheritance rights when her husband dies. Often, the husband’s family simply takes the land from the widow, which amounts to “property grabbing.”

    But, as this script explains, most often it is misinterpretation of the law that results in women being denied property rights. In fact, the initial intent of many customary laws was to ensure that widows and their children were provided for after the death of a husband. And, in many areas, laws actually support women in holding on to land.

    This script features an interview with a lawyer who speaks about women and property rights, and discusses some of the important legal considerations for women facing the death of their husbands.