|dc.description.abstract||Kenya provides one of the most well-known and documented process of formalization of land tenure systems through registration of individual titles deeds. Title deeds confer ownership right to the person with the title deed. The extent to which these rights are realized, however, is mainly dependent on the land tenure system which in turn is implemented within a given cultural context. While it is documented that the formalization of land rights contribute to the denial of women’s land rights, it is not yet clear the extent to which this situation has persisted especially in areas that were first to begin and complete the titling process in Kenya. This study, therefore, examines this linkage between individualized land tenure, culture, and security of women’s land rights.
The study was carried out in Nyeri County. The choice of Nyeri was informed by the fact that it is one of the few Counties to have completed the process of land individualization in the 1950s just before the declaration of Kenya’s independence from colonial rule in 1963.
The findings show that there is a changing trend where land ownership by women is increasingly getting common in Nyeri. This can be attributed to an erosion of patriarchal influences that governed land relations. The findings also show that some women in Nyeri play a significant role in denying other women rights to land. This is in contrast with the general view that this is done by men. The study further established that decentralized land administration institutions such as the Land Control Board and Land Dispute Tribunal play a significant role in limiting the negative effects of traditional values, norms, and customs on women’s land rights in Nyeri.
The study concludes that the security of women’s land rights is better guaranteed if the process of land management is participatory and adopts principles of good governance. This should be taken up by the newly established National Land Commission||en