Many men accepted women’s demands for increased surfaces of land, which would allow the latter to produce not only for subsistence use but also for the market.

Finally, the support and endorsement by the municipal administration and customary chiefs played a crucial role in men’s willingness to open up to new ideas of managing and controlling land within the family.

Recognition of land rights through social legitimacy

The voluntarily negotiated intra-household tenure arrangements resulted in a preceding and facilitating document for Rural Land Possessions Certificates, a so-called “Procès Verbal” of a Village Assembly. As such, it is not a legal document but rather an accord validated by the village assembly and recognised by the municipal administration. In case of contestation, the village’s conciliation committee members intervene to mediate disputes.

Issuance of formal land titles to women was neither possible nor desirable within this pilot process. Land titles could not be delivered, as local institutions responsible for issuing land possession documents did not exist in the region the process was being tested in.