DECEMBER 2013. The Liberian government is pursuing legal reforms to improve land governance. However, to be effective these reforms must address the significant inconsistencies and gaps in the body of law and custom that governs women’s land rights.
Although both women and men have rights to land under statutory and customary tenure, the rights of women and men differ in origin, duration and scope, and are influenced by the legal rules and social norms related to marriage and other family relationships. As a result, women’s rights to land and other property are often less secure than those of men.
In this brief learn about:
- The reforms needed to create a land governance system that equally protects the rights of men and women;
- How Liberia’s unique history of settlement by former American slaves shaped the development of dual system of rights and laws;
- Customary practices in Liberia that affect women’s land rights;
- How marriage affects a woman’s property rights differently in urban and rural areas;
- Why the Equal Rights of Customary Marriage Law of 1998 does not protect the rights of most Liberian women.