Women’s economic empowerment and removing land tenure-related obstacles to women’s development is a primary focus of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) program. In Mozambique, the project has supported the delimitation of land parcels and the establishment of land associations in Ile District in Zambézia Province, an area dominated by a matrilineal and matrilocal social structure. The district has a very young population, with approximately half of inhabitants under 15 years old.
In Ile District, the Mozambican organization Associação Rural de Ajuda Mútua (ORAM) received a grant from ILRG in 2019 to establish community land associations and water user associations and delimit around 3,000 land parcels in five communities. Previously, in 2018, ORAM had established land associations and delimited over 10,000 land parcels in 20 communities through the Land: Enhancing Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND) project, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). Through these projects, ORAM supported the establishment and capacity building of community land associations as legal community representatives on land and natural resource management. The projects facilitated delimitation of community boundaries and the delimitation of land parcels that had been previously acquired by families or individuals. The community land associations then provided each titleholder with a declaration of their right to occupy and use the land, called a Direito de Uso e Aproveitamento da Terra (DUAT).
The objective of this assessment is to address youth and gender relationships and their influence on decision-making related to land and land use within families and community land associations. This will give a better understanding of how the matrilineal context interacts with women’s and men’s land use and tenure, and how land delimitation and titling have affected land rights in the area in order to inform future ILRG activities.
The assessment focuses on the following key aspects:
- Gender relationships and their influence on decision-making on land issues within households;
- Gender relationships and their influence on decision-making on land issues in community land associations;
- Joint titling vs. sole titling; and
- Communications, training and implementation tools and materials.
The assessment is primarily based on qualitative field work carried out in Ile District in February 2020. The data was collected in two rural communities, and a total of 79 persons were interviewed; eight of them were technicians or local experts, and 71 were community members. Quantitative data, collected during the delimitation projects, has also been included in the analysis.