Women’s Land Access in Post-Conflict Rwanda: Bridging the Gap between Customary Land Law and Pending Land Legislation

November 2004
Laurel L. Rose (Carnegie Mellon University) in Texas Journal of Women and Law, 13, 2, 2004, 197-250

Contains sections on the effects on women of Rwanda’s civil war, the legal system, the gap between customary law and land legislation, research findings about Rwandan women’s rights, a number of dispute case studies, including methods of dispute settlement. Argues that a gap exists between customary and modern legal systems, creating both land access opportunities and constraints for women. Demonstrates the creativity with which women are bridging that gap in a state of legal uncertainty. Suggests government officials should achieve land policy and legislation that specifies and guarantees women’s land rights in theory and practice.