• July 25, 2024
Apr 09 2021
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'I'll Bury You in the Border!': Women's Land Struggles in Post- War Facazisse (Magude District), Mozambique

This paper, based on participant-observation and interviews among women in Facazisse, argues that we cannot understand the significance of recent land struggles - either for rural social relations or for Mozambican land law reform - unless we examine them from a gendered cultural and historical perspective, relying on women's explanations of the meaning of changes in local land administration during the colonial and postcolonial periods.

Women's oral testimony draws a sharp contrast between 'traditional' land administration (the 'ways of long ago'), when their responsibility for agriculture fostered a sense of 'cultivating community' among them, and gave women practical and ritual control over everyday land management, with the present system in Facazisse, in which the cumulative impact of colonial land alienation, new methods of land division, and wartime land distribution measures have drastically eroded women's authority, autonomy, and land-based kinship.

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