A High Court in Kenya has ruled that women are entitled to inherit land from their father – overruling customary law which dictated that it must be inherited by male relatives.
Written by Dominic Kirui Reuters
Kapcheboi, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — A few months ago, the idea of coming home with a hoe in one hand and a sack of freshly harvested potatoes in the other was only a dream for Rachel Korir.
When her father died in 2012, his land in the village of Kapcheboi, in western Kenya, automatically went to his two sons, in line with the customary law of the Kipsigis tribe to which the family belongs.
Because Korir, now 70, and her five sisters were all married, tribal rules dictated that they were not entitled to any of their father’s land.
“Even when I tried to work (for my brothers) plucking tea on the farm for money, they refused to offer me the job and gave it to other people from the village,” said the mother of seven, sitting on a bench outside her small hut.
But in April, after a legal battle that lasted almost 20 years, Korir and her sisters got the title deeds to five acres (two hectares) of land each, in a case that lang rights groups are calling a landmark victory for the women of Kenya’s indigenous tribes.
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