"We Have No Voice for That": Land Rights, Power, and Gender in Rural Sierra Leone

"We Have No Voice for That": Land Rights, Power, and Gender in Rural Sierra Leone

Source: Journal of Human Rights, 2015

Author(s): Gearoid Millar

Countries: Sierra Leone

Topics: Gender, Land, Livelihoods

Added: 18/01/2017

 

Much attention has recently focused on the lease of land throughout the global south to nations and corporations in the global north. It is argued that local people's access to and relationships with the land are being redefined and that large segments of these populations are being denied their rights to land with potentially detrimental effects for their livelihoods and food security. This article explores one such project in Sierra Leone, focusing specifically on the experiences of rural women. The data illustrate how these women experience this 40,000 hectare bioenergy project as disempowering and disruptive. While these women may have the formal right to participate in land decisions and project benefits, they had no such right in practice. I argue here that this outcome is the result of compound disempowerment that results from the complex interaction of indigenous social and cultural dynamics and the supposedly gender-neutral logic of liberal economics.

 

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