"The study is designed to explore the status of rural women in access to and control over land
in the current land administration system in two rural Kebeles in East Shewa Zone Ada’a
Woreda of Oromia region on smallholder farmers’ landholding registration. The Ormia
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 land holding rights and control they have over land. Study findings reveal that women’s access rights to land is less equal than legally provided. This study evidences gaps between policy and implementation. Customary laws and traditional practices generally have impacts on land access rights of single/unmarried, divorced, widowed women and on access rights of women in polygamous marriages. Women’s control over land is not efficiently addressed by the regional rural land policy. This is a significant policy drawback as women’s equal rights on land could not be achieved without
gaining control over land. The land administration system in general and the land registration
process in particular has not considered women’s participation in community activities and
decision-making. Women are not represented in LACs and Sub-Committees in both Kebeles.
Study findings indicate absence of autonomous institution as gap in addressing women’s
issues in the land administration system. This study also revealed loose linkages between the
rural land policy and other regional legislations like the regional family law which provides
women’s equal rights on land in marriage and on its abandonment.
This study forwards recommendation to address gender gaps identified to ensure women’s
equal access to and control over land in the study area. The Oromia rural land proclamation
needs revision from a gender perspective to address women’s specific issues and the land
administration system should consider women’s participation in the process, their
contribution to the system as well as their equal benefits from policy outcomes.."