While there has been some empirical research on the gendered outcomes of the legislative framework governing land in Rwanda, the breadth of these studies has been limited. This study seeks, through rigorous field research, to inform the further development of policies in Rwanda that can create a gender equitable society, and ensure women and men have adequate control over the land they need to be secure, to flourish and to reach their full human potential.
Rwanda has provided a picture of promising change for improving gender equalities in land rights. After the genocide, many households were headed by women and orphaned children, and the urgent need to protect their rights to remain on and manage the land of their husbands or fathers prompted the development of the Law no. 22/99 of 12/11/1999, the Law of Matrimonial Regimes, Liberalities and Successions, commonly referred to as the 1999 Succession Law.
Knowledge of this law and others is widespread, due to the substantial investments by the Rwandan Government, civil society organizations and international partners in awareness raising. Importantly, these land-related legal interventions and their implementation have also been transforming not only the knowledge, but also the actions and beliefs of both men and women.