Gender, land rights and fragility in Northern Uganda: the case of Amuru District


  • Laloyo Stella Apecu Gulu University



Armed conflicts globally create social and economic shifts that affect women’s and men’s claims to land.  Jacobs (2012) explains that land is crucial to the livelihoods and security of many rural women.  Asiimwe (2001) and Tripp (1997) note that land rights in most parts of Africa are passed on from the male lineage and women who have lost their lineage ties through widowhood, divorce, not having sons, and separation become vulnerable and may be excluded. This paper discusses struggles over access, control and ownership rights in relation to land among women and men in Amuru district Uganda. This article is a result of a qualitative study that conducted 10 focus group discussions with 40 women and 40 women in Pabbo, Amuru and Lamogi sub counties of Amuru Sub County and 4 focus group discussions with Area Land Committee members in the above sub counties. My findings indicate that ethnic based land tensions fostered insecurity and instability in the Amuru as people could not walk around freely, access their gardens, were displaced and this in turn affected their ability to make a living through accessing the land. I also found that many women had relational access to land through their marriage and relationship with male kin and this seemed to give them fragile land rights. Men on the other hand had firm control over land and made final decisions relating to sales and land use.