Empowering Women through Recognition of Rights to Land: Mechanisms to Strengthen Women's Rights in Vanuatu
Abstract:Although the pluralist system of land tenure in Vanuatu does not directly discriminate against women, the operation of the system and contemporary interpretations of custom are increasingly marginalizing women from decision-making processes regarding land management and control. Commitment to the principles of gender equality through constitutional guarantees and the ratification of relevant international treaty obligations, while providing an appropriate legal framework for equality, have only had limited success in addressing discriminatory practices. This article analyzes alternative ways to overcome the barriers faced by women that are currently under consideration in many Pacific Island countries, including recording and registration, as well as legal vehicles such as incorporating customary land groups, trusts and community companies. This article concludes that while both existing and proposed mechanisms have the potential to secure for women a greater role in decision-making processes regarding land management and control, that potential will not be realized in the absence of knowledge, empowerment and the acceptance of the legitimacy of such rights.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2013-09-01
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- Pacific Affairs is a peer-reviewed, independent, and interdisciplinary scholarly journal focusing on important current political, economic and social issues throughout Asia and the Pacific. Each issue contains approximately five new articles and 40-50 book reviews. Published continuously as a quarterly since 1928 under the same name, it is the oldest English-language journal with a focus on Asia and the Pacific. It enjoys an international reputation based on the high quality of articles, and its extensive book reviews section.
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