Masvingo Centre for Research Advocacy and Development (MACRAD) conducted a research titled “An assessment of gender dynamics in access to and control over land, in Masvingo province, Zimbabwe” and observed that most women’s access to land in the rural areas and resettlements areas is through family relations, marriage bonds and negotiations.
Many women use individual agency rather than collective agency to carefully negotiate their different land use rights challenges as there is always a push by the local patriarchal authorities to take land rights away from women. The majority who benefited as a result of marriage bonds usually did not directly possess the land but relied on their spouses to continue allowing them access to the land especially through the traditional allocation of a “Tseu.”
MACRAD will revive the Tseu / Munda Wambuya / Grandmother’s field concept. The concept builds upon the fact that women used to gain land through this traditional practice whereby women were allocated pieces of land where they cultivated traditional / indigenous crops such as rapoko, sorghum, ground nuts and round nuts.
The Tseu / Munda Wambuya / Grandmother’s field is a campaign initiated by MACRAD. Inputs of indigenous crops will be distributed to targeted areas. The traditional approach to land rights enhances bargaining power for women. That bargaining power is also held by women in their kitchens, gardens, on some crops, certain trades and market routes which most men cannot capture. MACRAD will use traditional land acquisition methods used by women like relying on resilience, women’s agency and changing traditional land control spheres. Providing women with rights to land allows them to fight for their economic, social and political rights.
Source: Masvingo Centre for Research Advocacy and Development (MACRAD)