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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Women in Bamenda: survival strategies and access to land
Author:Berg, Adri van den
Series:Research reports
City of publisher:Leiden
Publisher:African Studies Centre
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:household income
land law
urban women
External link:https://hdl.handle.net/1887/445
Abstract:This report is a historical-anthropological study of the survival strategies of urban women in the town of Bamenda in West Cameroon, insofar as they are related to changing access to land. The emphasis is on historical developments from the sixties on, a period in which the commercialization and urbanization of Bamenda has accelerated. The author inquires into the present importance of land as a source of income for women, and examines the alternatives that are developed in situations of land shortage, such as in a densely populated quarter of Bamenda town. Although theoretically urban women have more economic sources at their disposal than just land (such as trade or formal employment), various ideological and socioeconomic forces seem to cooperate in preventing them from exploiting these sources to the full. The author examines these obstructive factors and looks into the strategies adopted by women to acquire access to economic resources. For this purpose, she compares the situation of 'big' business women to that of small women traders in Bamenda. One of women's strategies is to start a court action to defend or claim their rights to land. In order to understand the character of their conflicts special attention is paid to the development of legal pluralistic land tenure systems in western Cameroon and the specific land rights of women.