Women´s Land Usage Rights in Amigna and Robe Woredas of Oromia Region, Ethopia. Challenges and Recommendations

Academic Paper, 2016

19 Pages, Grade: A


Table of Contents

Organization of the Thesis

1.1 Background
1.2 Literature Review
1.3 Statement of the problem
1.4 Research questions
1.5 Objectives of the study
1.6 General objective
1.6.1 Specific objectives
1.7 Methodology of the Study
1.8 Significance of the study
1.9 Delimitation of the study

CHAPTER TWO: Geographical and Historical Background of Robe and Amigna Woredas
2.1 Geographical Background of the study area
2.1.1 Background of the study area
2.2 Land, Property, Resources and Land related matters
2.2.1 Access to land and other resources:
2.2.2. Control over land and other resources:
2.2.3 Decision-making
2.2.4 Land rights
2.2.5 Land rights registration
2.2.6 Tenure system

CHAPTER THREE Challenges for the implementations of women’s rights in the districts
3.1 Gender inequality
3.2 Inadequate human, technical and financial supports
3.3 Weak coordination mechanisms at Robe and Amigna Woredas
3.3 Limited attention to neglected groups and issues
3.4 women’s demand for services is low

CHAPTER FOUR:Conclusion and Recommendations


Organization of the Thesis

The thesis is organized into four Chapters. The first chapter deals with research methodologies, Statement of the Problem, Objective of the study, Significance of the study, Limitation of the study, Scope of the Study and Literature review. The second Chapter discourses the general background information regarding women's land use rights in broad. The third chapter focuses on the challenges hindering women’s not to practice their land-use rights properly in both Amigna woreda and the Robe districts of East Arsi zone. Finally, Conclusions, Recommendations, and References were also drawn at the end of this Chapter.


The study is configured to explore how women’s in Amigna and Robe woredas of Arsi zone of Oromia national regional state using their rights in terms of land use rights in the area. The Oromia National Regional State Rural Land Administration and Use Proclamation and its implementation procedure are examined from a gender perspective in terms of ensuring rural women’s landholding rights. This study forwards the recommendation to address gender gaps identified to ensure women’s equal access to and control over land in the study area.

In addition to the proclamation of the Oromia rural land proclamation, the 1995 Ethiopian constitution was also recognized woman’s the rights to use land on the same basis as men by stating that “ any Ethiopian who wants to earn a living by farming has a right, which shall not be alienated, to obtain without payment, the use of land …..”. In both these proclamations as it is clearly stated women are given full rights to have their own land and property as that of men. In addition to these proclamations’ different articles and sources regarding women’s land use rights are discussed clearly based on women’s perspective.


1.1 Background

Women in Ethiopia constitute half of the population and the labor required and manages about 35-40 % of the land in Ethiopia. However, women in Ethiopia in general and women in Arsi zone of Oromia national regional state particularly in Robe and Amigna woreda’s are found at a disadvantageous position in many respects.1 Women are the most marginalized group of society in relation to accessing and controlling rural land in Ethiopia. The main challenge for effective implementation of women’s right to rural land in the country is largely attributable to the negative attitudes and harmful practices that deny a woman’s right to own, administer property and control the rural land. Moreover, women do not have a customary right to inherit land from their family; and the control of the land during marriage falls chiefly under the control of their husbands.

This is also the fact which strengthened its foothold in the two regions of the study area. In Amigna and Robe Woredas and its surrounding areas, that means in many areas of the woreda’s of Arsi zones in particular and in Ethiopia in general, women’s access to land and their rights to use the lands freely is not supported by society at large. But in nowadays it is important to give and support women to equally run any economic benefits the same as men in this civilized world. but is it applicable in our localities especially in terms of women’s land use?

Women’s access to and control over land is very critical as land is a major resource in women’s livelihood. However, women are discriminated against in terms of realizing their rights to land. Over the past three decades, women’s issues and more recently gender issues have gained prominence on the development platform. International women’s conferences held consecutively on different issues in different American, European, Asian and African cities like; Mexico City in 1975, in Nairobi in1985 and in Beijing in 1995 towards realizing women’s political, social and economic equality with men. Additional different conventions were undertaken by the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Article 16, Economic and Social Council Commission on the Status of Women Resolution 42/1, Human Rights and land rights discrimination.2

Many gender issues which are very important to the well-being of millions of women and girls around the world got public attention after these conferences. Despite this progress, women have remained disadvantaged in many ways. Gender equality has not been achieved and women do not enjoy equal rights with men in accessing and having control over land and other productive resources.

This report on Women and Land Rights in Ethiopia demonstrates the need for more efforts to ensure that women’s rights to land ownership are enshrined in the law. It also shows that in an environment where cultural norms relegate women to an inferior position in society, there is the need for support systems to enable women to own and be able to use the land they own without constraints.

As we tried to discuss earlier, in both districts and its surrounding regions in general, society’s presumption for women is not good especially in terms of their rights. Because Patriarchal attitudes towards the position of women in society continue to undermine women’s ownership of the most vital resources such as land, any type of property and the likes. In order to change those prospective, the Amigna woreda district and the Robe woreda’s should have to expand education in the region and support and give awareness for the society to increase the generation that stands for his rights and also confirms and as well protects the rights of women’s too.

Education of women is critical in improving the position of women and ownership of productive resources. When women are educated, they are in a better position to earn income which they can invest in assets such as land. Girls in a family should be accorded the same treatment so that they to share family property including land as children in the family. In the campaign on increasing the ownership of land by women, it makes more sense, to begin with pushing for inheritance rights of girls as daughters in the natal family. When girls have their share of land as daughters, they enter into marriage relationships with more confidence and stronger bargaining power which enhances equality and equity at the household level.

1.2 Literature Review

Before we are going to explain women's rights, let’s clarify briefly what do we mean by gender? Gender was explained differently by different individuals. Gender is the sex-role identity used to emphasize distinctions between males and females. It refers to behaviors associated with members of a given sex. There are a set of attitudes and behaviors developed and perpetuated in society towards people that judge or belittle them on the basis of their gender.3 Gender became a critical analytical tool in the discourse of women’s rights and entitlements to social and material resources.

Developmental challenges faced by policymakers because of differences between the sexes in roles and statuses that hindered development initiated the upcoming of different policy approaches that link gender issues to development.4

The land is the most significant livelihood-sustaining asset for a vast majority of the Ethiopian people. The same is also true for Oromia National Regional State which is one of the nine regions in FDRE. Oromia region is the most densely inhabited area and is the prosperous region in Ethiopia. The regions have bestowed by rich natural resources including vast land for farming, minerals, rivers, lakes, mountains and a variety of natural resources which we could not list them now in this short time. The 1995 FDRE Constitution gives importance to improve the socio-economic situation of women and there are provisions on equal rights of women to property ownership, particularly land5.

Land policies have been issued at federal and regional levels consistent with the constitution. The FDRE rural land administration and use proclamation first issued in 1997 and revised in 2005 offer mandate to regional governments to issue land policies based on the federal rural land administration and use proclamation and consistent to region-specific socio-economic situations (FDRE, 1997 and FDRE, 2005). The current Oromia rural land proclamation and its implementation process will be considered in this study with regards to women’s access to and control over land.

1.3 Statement of the problem

Women were refrained from using the land for many periods in Ethiopia in general and in Amigna district of Arsi zone in particular. It is a hot issue that needs governmental attention to ensure the women’s right to use their land properly and to be equally treated as that of men’s. Women’s equality in land rights is a global issue. Governments have entered commitments through ratifying various women’s rights conventions and have issued national policies supporting women’s access rights to land in many countries.

In spite of these commitments, problems exist in ensuring women’s equal landholding rights with that of men in many countries, mainly due to deep-rooted patriarchal gender power relations in societies. Women’s land rights issue has become more critical in developing countries like in Africa as land is a major resource for survival to the majority of the people. Access to and control over land and its products are critical to women because women are responsible to ensure household food security by their community assigned gender roles. Oromia National Regional State issued the rural land policy in 2002 by Proclamation No. 56/20026 in realizing the FDRE constitutional mandate and mandate provided by the 1997 FDRE Rural Land Administration and Use Proclamation7

Rural land administration regulation is issued by Proclamation No. 39/2003 to give directives on detail implementation of the policy8. A new land administration system has been introduced and land administration program is being implemented throughout the region. The rural land policy provides equal landholding rights to men and women. However, the effectiveness of the rural land policy in addressing rural women’s specific issues and challenging existing gender disparities in access to and control over land needs to be examined from a gender perspective.

The land is commonly allocated to households and is registered on the names of household heads in the region. The rural land administration process applies spousal-joint land registration and certification in married households. Studies carried out on women’s land rights revealed that women’s access to their husband’s land entitles them to secondary rights9. Land rights acquired through marriage expose women to crisis especially when marital conflicts lead to divorce or separation or upon the death of husbands. Besides, women’s marital statuses and their status under different family structures affect women’s access to and control over land. Women in male-headed households and FHHs (single, widowed and divorced women) access to land and the control power they have over land, particularly decision-making on land.

Traditionally rights to property pass through the male line in Ethiopia. This implies that women’s status is generally inferior to that of men. Researches carried out on rural land policy implementation in the Amhara region revealed that policies favoring women’s equal landholding rights didn’t bring required changes at the community level10. This study will examine underlying socio-cultural issues that hamper the effective implementation of the regional rural land policy on women’s access to and control over land in Amigna Woreda of Oromia Region.

The FDRE and the Oromia rural land policies give emphasis to the establishment of a transparent land administration system and enhancement of community participation at the level of implementation. Studies carried out in other regions however, reflected women’s low awareness of their land rights and low involvement in the land administration process11. This study looks at problems that retarded women’s involvement in the land administration process in the Oromia region. This study, therefore, intends to find out the extent to which rural land policy of Oromia and its implementation process had an effect on the stated problems on women’s equal access to and control over land.

1.4 Research questions

The researchers were focused on the following research questions to achieve the intended results from the study:

1. What provisions are in place in National and Regional policy with regards to women’s rights to land?
2. How do the Oromia rural land proclamation and other relevant regional legislations address issues of women’s access to and control over land?
3. What are the major challenges hindering the implementation of women’s equal access to and control over rural land?
4. What benefits do rural women in Amigna Woreda of Oromia Region get from the current rural land administration system in terms of access to and control over land?

1.5 Objectives of the study

1.6 General objective

The overall objective of this study is to assess women’s land use rights and the enforcement of laws regarding the two districts of Arsi zone of the Oromia region.

1.6.1 Specific objectives

The followings are the Specific objectives of the study:

- To know how women’s, practice their land use rights in Amigna and Robe districts
- To explore the forms of discrimination against women and girls in Adele and Robe towns and any regions in the districts.
- To identify some challenges facing women regarding economic resources, as well as ownership over land and other forms of property in accordance with different laws.
- To access the land use rights of women’s’ living in the study area.
- To explore the impacts of customary landholding practices on women’s access to land in the study area.

1.7 Methodology of the Study

To come across the requirements and the gaps of sources in the literature review, different research methodologies were carefully utilized.

The researchers were used to accomplish this task both written sources such as Books, Articles, various legal documents regarding land use rights at federal and regional levels and unwritten sources such as fieldwork observation and interviews. For this purpose, different materials like Notebook and Pen were used and Critical analysis of both primary and secondary sources was undertaken.

1.8 Significance of the study

This research is aimed to study women's land use rights in Robe and Amigna Woredas of Oromia Region with respect to the current regional rural land use and administration proclamation implementation on smallholder farmers’ landholding registration. Women’s access to and control over land is vital for rural livelihoods.

Women’s equal access and control over land are constrained by their social positions in society. Equal access to and control over land to women in this study area obviously will have a positive impact on rural development. This study will be a bit of a contribution to show the significance of women’s equal access to and control over land to the socio-economic well-being of women in the region. Researches carried out on the current rural land policy implementation reveals that the current land administration system has not challenged pre-existing gender biases in actual implementation.12

This study will look at the hindering factors for the realization of women's land rights and features affecting women’s equal access to and control over land in the land administration system in two districts in Oromia. Study findings will give better insight into gender issues and the significance of addressing these issues in rural land administration systems to ensure women’s equal access to and control over land. The study will come up with important recommendations on gender issues to be considered in the regional rural land administration policy which is under revision currently. This will help policymakers to give emphasis to important gender issues that need to be addressed at the level of policy formulation as well as at the level of implementation. The study will also serve as an entry point for further research undertakings in areas of women’s land rights and rural development.

1.9 Delimitation of the study

This study is limited to the two woredas of eastern Arsi namely Robe and Amigna woredas with a specific area of the study the women’s lands use rights in both regions. This will limit the upcoming of some important gender issues existing in neighboring Woredas of the region. Finance was a constraint to carry out research in distant Woredas. Nevertheless, this study will hopefully give insight into the gender aspect of Oromia rural land policy and land administration system with regards to women’s land use rights.


1 Yigremew Adal, Review of Landholding Systems and Policies in Ethiopia under the Different Regimes, EEA/Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Institute, 2002, p,32

2 Sida, Women and Land rights / march 2015, p, 2.

3 Akuna Beatrice, (2004) Access to and control over land from a gender perspective. A study in the Volta Region of Ghana. Retrieved on Oct 4, 2019 from, ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/007/ae501e/ae501e00.pdf.

4 Ibid.

5 Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Proclamation No. 40/1995. Proclamation of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.

6 ONRS, (2002). Oromia National Regional State Oromia Rural Land Use and Administration Proclamation. Proclamation No 56/2002. Megalata Oromiyaa, Finfinne.

7 FDRE, (1997). Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Rural Land Administration and Use Proclamation. Proclamation No. 89/1997, Federal Negarit Gazeta, Addis Ababa.

8 ONRS, (2003). Oromia National Regional State . Oromia Rural Land Administration and Use Regulation No. 39 /200 3. Megalata Oromiyaa, Finfine.

9 Nzioki A., (2006). Land Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Center for Land Economy and Rights of Women, Nairobi, Kenya.

10 Askale Teklu, (2005). Land Registration and Women’s Land Rights in Amhara Region, Ethiopia. Securing Land Rights in Africa. International Institute for Environment and Development: London

11 Askale Teklu, (2005). Land Registration and Women’s Land Rights in Amhara Region, Ethiopia. Securing Land Rights in Africa. International Institute for Environment and Development: London. Deininger K., Daniel Ayalew Ali, Stein Holden and Jaap Zevenbergen, (2007). Rural land certification in Ethiopia: Process, initial impact, and implications for other African countries. Retrieved on October 5 from http://econpapers.repec.org/paper/wbkwbrwps/4218.htm

12 Ibid.

Excerpt out of 19 pages


Women´s Land Usage Rights in Amigna and Robe Woredas of Oromia Region, Ethopia. Challenges and Recommendations
Raya University  (Raya university)
Ethiopian Women history
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
women´s, ethopia, region, oromia, woredas, robe, amigna, rights, usage, land
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Muhamed Awal Mehadi (Author), 2016, Women´s Land Usage Rights in Amigna and Robe Woredas of Oromia Region, Ethopia. Challenges and Recommendations, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/507247


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