chapter  12
Reproducing patriarchy on resettled lands: a lost opportunity in reconstituting women’s land rights in the Fast-Track Land Reform Program in Zimbabwe
Pages 16

This chapter examines how women’s access to land is mediated by patriarchal systems on resettled land in Zimbabwe. It uses the complexities associated with inheritance of resettled land to highlight how land reform in Zimbabwe constitutes a lost opportunity to reframe women’s land rights outside patriarchal norms and values. The Fast-Track Land Reform Program (FTLRP) has mainly privileged men as primary recipients of resettlement land, and the involvement of traditional authorities in the land reform process continues to marginalize women. This chapter focuses on the lack of clarity around the inheritance of land in the newly resettled areas. It uses case studies among A11 farmers in Mazowe to highlight how women and children are not adequately protected by land-ownership systems on resettlement land. Following independence in 1980, the Zimbabwean government sought to legally empower women by legislating a number of laws such as the Legal Age of Majority (1982) which meant that women-like mennow enjoyed majority status at 18 years of age. Such gains were, however, not enough as the state has increasingly become patriarchal in nature, as has been shown starkly in such as examples as the now seminal Magaya vs Magaya Supreme Court case in 1999, which once again reduced women to “junior males” without full inheritance rights.2