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An investigation of the determinants of women’s property ownership and inheritance practices among the kisii community in Kenya

Author: 
Mary Mogute
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

This study investigated factors determining women’s property ownership and inheritance practices among the Kisii community in Kenya. The Kisii community, just like many other traditional patriarchal societies in the world, gives men priority over women in property ownership and inheritance. Though discriminative, this practice is normative and culturally sanctioned by both men and women. Though, human rights and constitutional provisions endevours to treat men and women as equals before the law, in patriarchal societies, men still have an upper hand over their female counterparts with regards to property ownership and inheritance rights. This amounts to gender discrimination which is contrary to human and women’s rights. The objectives of this study were to; investigate the determinants of women’s property ownership and inheritance practices, and proffer strategies that could be used to promote women’s property ownership and inheritance rights of key resources in the community such as land, houses and livestock. The study was informed by the conflict and social role theories. It adopted mixed method design. The findings revealed that cultural beliefs and practices, socio-economic factors, patriarchy, lack of legal awareness on women’s rights to property and land scarcity were critical factors that influenced women’s property ownership and inheritance practices among the Kisii people.

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