National Policy Dialogue on Women’s Land Rights in Mozambique

February 2023

This report covers a meeting held in Maputo in January 2023 to discuss the status of women’s land rights in Mozambique, and the role of women in the recent dialogue over revision of the National Land Policy.  The meeting was organized as part of a wider initiative by PLAAS  (the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa), and an established Mozambican NGO, Livaningo.  The meeting report outlines the current situation of women’s land rights in Mozambique, with varying official and civil society views expressed about land rights titling for women and the formalisation of customary rights.  Despite having a relatively progressive Land Law in place since 1997, the meeting discussed concerns about a lack of respect for national policies, community rights, and particularly women’s land rights.  Attention is drawn to the continuing influence of patriarchal cultural practices within communities that exclude women from programmes to register title over land parcels, alongside implementation problems within the land administration system. The report highlights the limited role women have played in development of the new National Land Policy, concluded and approved in late 2022),  with speakers asking why women who work the land are still not consulted.  The report ends with a list of recommendations that are continentally-relevant, underlining that women’s land rights is not just about securing title deeds but also about ensuring that women participate in decision-making and have a voice in land governance issues in general.