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Country Reports

Between Habit and Legislation: Land Rights in West Africa

by Katharina Hopp

Approaches for the implementation of women's land rights in Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo

The majority of the population in Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo lives from agriculture and livestock. The legal framework for land management is characterised by a dualism between state laws and traditional customary rights. Local customary laws still mainly govern the ownership, use and transfer of land. Only a few small farmers are officially registered as landowners at state level. In this context, women have de facto no secure access to land – despite legal equality and their key role in agriculture. In order to strengthen the process of implementation of modern land laws and thus the economic role of women and food security, an in-depth dialogue and close cooperation between the women directly concerned, civil society organisations, customary and religious authorities, public authorities and other policymakers is necessary.

About this series

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is a political foundation. Our offices abroad are in charge of over 200 projects in more than 120 countries. The country reports offer current analyses, exclusive evaluations, background information and forecasts - provided by our international staff.