Gender Inequality and Land Rights: The Situation of Indigenous Women in Cameroon

Keywords: Indigenous women, gendered-based discrimination, land rights, gender inequality, decision-making, Cameroon

Abstract

Land is an essential resource that serves as a means of subsistence for millions of people in the world and indigenous communities and women in particular. Most indigenous societies' survival is closely tied to land. In Cameroon, indigenous women are the backbone of food production in their communities. That makes access to land important, as it is a significant source of wealth and power for indigenous peoples in general and indigenous women in particular. While women all over the world encounter gender-based discrimination in relation to the control and ownership of land, indigenous women face triple discrimination on the basis of their gender (as women), their ethnicity (as indigenous peoples) and their economic class (economically poor). They are often dehumanised, degraded and subjected to treatment as second-class human beings despite the existence of national legislation that discourages such practices. This paper interrogates the possibility of including indigenous women in government and decision-making processes in Cameroon in the hope that they may be involved in key decision-making processes that affect them, thereby reducing their economic and social vulnerability. It concludes with some thoughtful recommendations on policy reform aimed at ensuring access to land for indigenous women as well as socio-economic justice in its broadest sense.

 

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List of Abbreviation
ACHPR African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights
AM. U.INT’L. L. REV. American University International Law Review
CED Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement
FPP Forest Peoples Programme
GA. J. INT’L & COMP. L Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law
RACOPY Réseau Recherches Actions Concertées Pygmées
Soc Indic Res Social Indicators Research
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Published
2019-04-29
Section
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