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      Religion and Gender Policy Implementation in Zimbabwe: Women's Access to Land Ownership in Gwanda District

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          Abstract

          African women's histories show that economic marginalisation of women is rampant. This article evaluates how the implementation of African Traditional Religions, Christianity and the new National Gender Policy (2013-2017) impact on women's access to land ownership in the Gwanda district of Zimbabwe. The land reform programme, initiated by the Zimbabwean government, endeavoured to alleviate the limited access to land by women through a quota system. The new National Gender Policy (2013-2017) asserts that women should constitute 20% of all recipients of A2 farming land. Women now have the right to apply for A1 and A2 agricultural land, and it gives women authority to control land as a means of production. This marks a departure from the traditional custom where women would acquire land only through their husbands, fathers or any male relative. In this study, a mixed-method approach and case study design were applied to explore if this could eradicate gender inequality caused by religions on women's access to land ownership? The instruments were questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions and document analysis. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample of 80 participants. The findings are that the patriarchal system and cultural practices of African Traditional Religions and Christianity hinder women from accessing land. Some women have a fear of the unknown. The study recommends that women should be conscientised against the marginalising effects of religious, cultural and patriarchal practices, and informed on the contents of the current National Gender Policy (2013-2017). There should also be more female representation on the Land Allocation Committee.

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          Most cited references 21

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                she
                Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
                Studia Hist. Ecc.
                The Church History Society of Southern Africa (Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa )
                1017-0499
                2412-4265
                2020
                : 46
                : 2
                : 1-15
                Affiliations
                orgnameUniversity of South Africa
                orgnameUniversity of South Africa landmc@ 123456unisa.ac.za
                Article
                S1017-04992020000200007 S1017-0499(20)04600200007
                10.25159/2412-4265/7246

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 21, Pages: 15
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