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Title: Holding on : gender relations, food security and women's options and strategies for maintaining access to land in the Acholi region of Uganda
Author: Thorley, Lisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 2710
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2015
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This research is based on fieldwork that was carried out in the post-conflict villages of Adunu and Kom in the Acholi region of northern Uganda. It argues that a woman’s maintained access to customary land within these villages is determined not only by her sex and by provisions within Acholi customary law, but also by her marital and parental status as framed by patriarchal ideologies and power relations. It shows that if women wish to retain and hold on to land that is socially (and sometimes, legally) meant to be ‘theirs’, they must be prepared constantly to bargain and negotiate with either their husband, their husband’s lineage or their own natal clan. They must also conform to gendered norms concerning female behaviour, especially those that pertain to their sexuality and reproductive abilities. It is by adopting such strategies and, often, by making concessions, that they will be able to, in most cases, maintain access to land, particularly if land is in abundance. The thesis also shows that women’s food security is contingent on the gendered relations that they have and maintain with male family members and also on factors that are external, be these climate change or their ability to farm effectively. By looking at the relevance of gender relations in land access and food security, through a gender awareness lens and a feminist ethnography, this thesis provides a nuanced understanding of how women maintain access to customary land and how they can achieve food security, albeit within a male dominated system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Gender relations ; Patriarchy ; Bargaining ; Marriage ; Land ; Women ; Food security ; Acholi ; Uganda