Gender and Land in a Pluralistic System

Written by: Prof Michael Walls
Published on: 11.11.2019

This research aims at understanding how people in Hargeysa access to land and secure their land properties from the women point of view, being part of Gabooye community living in the city, which is passing through a period of urban transition. In light of the recent urban trends that Somaliland has been trying to manage, issues of complexity and inequality threaten the stability of the country. If the complex feature is directly related to land and its dynamics to access it and secure its benefits; the unequal one regards the concept of gender, the presence of minority clans residents in Hargeysa and the barriers that prevent these vulnerable groups from enjoying their rights over land as other individuals. Furthermore, the plurality of the land tenure systems influences the daily social aspect since overlap of statutory, religious and custom laws is embedded in the Somali community. Gender and land are interlinked to each other and simultaneously influenced by the rapid urban transformation shaping the city and its society. The main findings of the study demonstrate that gender is not the only concept that affects land accessibility and security of tenure since the Gabooye women is an intersectional discriminated case in Hargeysa. Therefore, the answer to the research is related to gender justice as well as social justice. Referring only to gender would give an insufficient response because Gabooye women suffer from a double exclusion and the barriers that prevent them from acquiring their rights have various essences.