The Impediments to Women?s Access to Land in Bodji Dirmeji Woreda of Western Wollega


Chala Olani Abetu*

Land has an important place in the life of people. It is a significant indicator of wealth, power, political and social security in Ethiopia in general and Oromo society in particular. Men and women differently command over land. Access to land is crucial for combating discrimination. Women who are denied such access tend to be disadvantaged, a pattern that results in economic powerlessness. This study aims at investigating impediments to women’s access to land in the Boji Dirmeji district of Oromia region. It looks at sociocultural and structural, legal, administrative and institutional impediments that women face in accessing and owning land, along with identifying the knowledge gaps among women.

The study provides qualitative and quantitative insights into conditions that impede women’s land rights in Bodji Dirmeji Woreda. The study was conducted in four kebeles of Amuma Hagalo, Burka Bodji, Daro Sombo, and Idebu Tobe. It uses a cross sectional research design. It employed household survey, in depth interviews, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), case study and observation as methods of data collection. About 139 households were participated in the survey. In addition, four FGDs and 16 in depth interviews were conducted.

The study found that, less than 50 percent of women have ownership of land. The most common sources of land ownership for women in all the kebeles were land inheritance and land redistribution. The study identified patriarchy and socio cultural factors as impeding women’s land access and ownership in all the study kebeles. The findings indicate that the majority of women within kebeles are non-literate; unaware of any existing entitlements and lack of sufficient assets to fight for their rights, and that their involvement in land administration institutions is limited.

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