Women’s Land and Property Rights

SALC’s Women’s Land and Property Rights programme has the following objectives:

  • Developing jurisprudence through cases challenging discrimination in areas of inheritance; sharing and distribution of matrimonial property; legal capacity of married women; and chieftainship.
  • Challenging the denial of women’s right to participate in decision-making on acquisition of land resources and developmental programmes affecting rural land and resources.
  • Highlighting the particular impact of forced evictions and mining pollution on women.


On-going cases:

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights/Lesotho: Case on women’s right to chieftainship in Lesotho.
Botswana: Case challenging customary law denying daughter’s ability to inherit.
Zambia: Case challenging arbitrary take over of communal land.
Swaziland: Case challenging common law marital power.
Zambia: Case challenging conversion of customary land to commercial and eviction of community.

Precedent cases:

Botswana: Case challenging constitutionality of customary law rule which provides for male inheritance of family home.
Malawi: Case challenging property grabbing of widow’s land.
Lesotho: Case challenging customary law which denies daughter’s ability to inherit immovable property.
Zimbabwe: Case challenging decision of Master to award widow a child’s share of farm acquired by couple.

06 Oct 2017 Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh
2015-2017 BIENNIAL REPORT...

SALC envisions a region in which domestic and regional courts are strong, independent, and fully functional and in which they uphold and enforce the rule of law and human rights. To that end, SALC works with domestic lawyers in each…

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05 Oct 2017 Staff Writer

5 October 2017 On Thursday 28 September 2017, the High Court of Zambia, per Justice G.C. Chawatama granted an interim injunction in a case in which the Mugoto community (Plaintiffs) are challenging the Chikankata District Council (1st Defendant)’s taking over…

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29 Aug 2017 Staff Writer
Swaziland: Challenge to the Common Law Marital Power and Marriage Act...

SALC is working with Women and Law in Southern Africa’s Swaziland chapter (WLSA-Swaziland) on a case challenging the common law marital power and the Marriage Act of 1964. Under the common law marital power, a married woman cannot conclude contracts…

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29 May 2017 Staff Writer
Zambia: Challenging Forced Eviction of Communities Living on Customary Land...

SALC is working with the Zambia Land Alliance to challenge the newly created Chikankata District Council’s taking over of individual farms and the grazing land of a community of 4429 people without following the legal and constitutional procedures. No compensation,…

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24 May 2017 Staff Writer
News release: Malawi High Court rules in favour of a widow previously dispossess...

On Monday 22 May 2017, the High Court of Malawi, sitting in Mzuzu, dismissed an action brought by the Plaintiff, a daughter to an elite couple, against the Defendant, an 89 year old grandmother. The Court found that the property…

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22 May 2017 Staff Writer
Malawi: Protecting Women from Illegal Land Seizure...

                SALC is working with Youth Watch Society (YOWSO) to help a poor single woman, Mary, and her widowed mother, Idesi retain the land that they inherited from their deceased father and husband…

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