Land is very vital in enhancing women’s livelihood and food security, thus the need for the protection of women’s land rights. However, women often experience discrimination in relation to land access, ownership, use, and control despite efforts to protect their land rights. This has led to gender inequality in the ownership and access of land in the Acholi commu-nity. This study examines the experiences of discrimination faced by women in accessing their land rights under the customary tenure system in the Acholi community in Northern Uganda. The study is an analysis of secondary data using the concept of intersectionality and gender. The findings indicate that the intersection of gender and other axis of marginalisation such as marital status and socio-economic situations of Acholi women play a great role in determining women’s access, ownership, use, and control of customary land. In addition to that, the study also shows that gendered practices of institutions such as the state, family and customary institutions reinforce the discrimination face by women in the access and owner-ship of customary land. The study argues that women’s discrimination and gender inequality not only exist in the access and ownership of land but also in land management. Women are deprived of their rights to poses land through gendered practices of inheritance and the mis-use and misinterpretation of customary laws and traditions in a way that favours their male counterparts. Besides women also face challenges of discrimination due to their high illiteracy level, lack of knowledge about existing legislation, and their property right, socio-economic situations, polygamy, power relations in households, limited presentation and participation in land tribunals, conflict resolution and decision making and the existence of legal pluralism where customary laws operate alongside statutory laws. Furthermore, inadequate knowledge about women’s property rights by men, negative perceptions and stereotypes towards women’s, outdated customs, and conflicting interests have also been seen to disadvantage women and create the gender gap in access and ownership of customary land in the Acholi community.

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Shehada, Nahda
Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)
International Institute of Social Studies

Amony, Winifred. (2020, December 18). Gendered land rights and intersectionality: experiences of Acholi women in northern Uganda. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from