chapter  6
Joint land certifi cates in Madagascar: the gendered outcome of a “gender-neutral” policy
ByMARIT WIDMAN
Pages 17

For a century, two systems of land management coexisted in Madagascar-the colonial system for land titling on one hand, and customary land tenure on the other. The land-titling system suffered from low capacity and elite capture. Disputes over inheritance and boundaries amplifi ed as pressure on arable land increased due to commercial interest, migration, population growth, and soil erosion. In response to these issues, Madagascar instituted a comprehensive land tenure reform in 2005, in line with the World Bank privatization agenda to encourage investments. The reform aimed at improving access to formal property rights to land for the rural population, modernizing land services, and reforming the land legislation. A key element was the establishment of local land offi ces assigned to issue land certifi cates.