Women Participation in Land Use Planning and Its Impact to Land Ownership Through Customary Tenure Case of Ilalasimba village in Iringa, Tanzania

Tryphon Gallus Mbawala, Wang Yihuan


This study was conducted in Ilalasimba village located in Iringa district, southern highlands of Tanzania. It assessed the land use planning process in the village and its ultimate end; that is, issuing Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCROs) to the community members. The assessment was done from the perspectives of women inclusion and participation so as to determine their position in the process. A mixed method approach was adopted and both qualitative and quantitative data were simultaneously collected and later converged during analysis in order to provide a comprehensive analysis of the questions requiring answers from the study. Semi-structured questionnaires, Key informant interviews (KIIs) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were used during data collection. Systematic sampling technique which has precision equivalent to random sampling was engaged to obtain a sample of 60 household respondents from the village.Considerable engagement and participation of women in the land use planning process, especially in the open discussions on women land rights, training sessions on the importance of land use plans as well as the right to own land which were conducted in the village at the time of undergoing land use planning process, motivated women to claim for their rights to equally own land. Moreover, women inclusion in various organs of decision making such as the village Council (VC) and the Village Land Council (VLC) strengthened their leadership capabilities and ensured women land rights is an important agenda in the decisions made by those bodies.  As a result of these initiatives there has been a significant proportion of women with certificates of land ownership under single occupancy, co-occupancy, probate administration and guardian – minor. However, women participation was not very promising in the public meetings especially village assembly due to household responsibilities. It is imperative for other village land use planning processes to take women inclusion and participation as an integral part. This will allow for interaction between actors and enable participants make the land use planning a process of high legal and social value to the community through designing, assimilating, adopting and implementing sustainable mechanisms, ways and modalities of exercising land ownership rights that will be beneficial, equal and fair to all members of the society and that will not proceed at the expense of women who when given the rights to own land, the benefits multiply to greater part of the society.

Keywords: Participation, Land Use Planning, Land Ownership, Customary Tenure, Certificate of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCROs),

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