Engaging men and boys to preserve women's land rights in Rwanda

By Jeff Tyson 01 September 2015

One aim of USAID's Rwanda Land Project is to help preserve and enforce women's rights to own land. Anna Knox, Chemonics chief of party for USAID's Rwanda Land Project, explains how the program evolved based on their discoveries.

Land is a valuable commodity in Rwanda — a country with one of the highest population densities in Africa. Still, Rwanda is known for its progressive land policies that provide the foundation for equal land rights for men and women. For instance, both men and women can inherit shares of their parents’ property. And a woman married under the country’s community property regime is allowed to administer her family’s land when her husband dies.

Educating Rwandan communities about their national land laws is critical to promoting women’s land rights. But as Devex learns from Anna Knox, chief of party for the Rwanda Land Project — funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented by Chemonics — the development community can’t limit such education to women and girls. They have to engage men and boys as well. And they have to understand male attitudes and beliefs as they relate to women’s rights to own land.

Watch the above video to learn more about how Knox and her team are engaging men and boys in Rwanda.

To read additional content on land and property rights, go to Focus On: Land Matters in partnership with Thomson Reuters.

About the author

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Jeff Tyson@jtyson21

Jeff is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in Washington, DC, he covers multilateral affairs, U.S. aid and international development trends. He has worked with human rights organizations in both Senegal and the United States, and prior to joining Devex worked as a production assistant at National Public Radio. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations and French from the University of Rochester.


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