Almost two thirds of land title deeds in Embu County are held by women. According to a research carried out recently by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Embu has the highest percentage of titles issued to women at 61.46% in the country. The study by Ivory Ndekei says that while Embu County demonstrates support for property ownership by women, Kisumu County trails the country, it singles out Kisumu as where denial of land and property to women as a basic Human Right is widespread. 97.42% of land titles in Kisumu are held by men while women own just a meagre 2.32%. Interestingly, many land titles in Naivasha are issued to other entities (corporates and joint ownership) at 67.69 per cent while men own 19.21 per cent and women 13.1 per cent. Kitui has the most titles issued to men and women jointly at 13.77 per cent. “Traditionally, heads of household were men and they consequently owned the land that their families settled on. As a result, it was difficult for a woman to own land much less to inherit it,” says Ndekei
In Kenya, a woman’s Right to own property, inherit and manage or dispose her land has long been under attack from customary practices that grant women only secondary rights to land and property through male relatives.
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA Kenya) is a think-tank that provides a platform for informed discussions in order to influence public policy in Kenya. It seeks to promote pluralism of ideas through open, active and informed debate on public policy issues. IEA undertakes research and conducts public education on key economic and topical issues in public affairs in Kenya and the region, and utilizes the outcomes of the research for policy dialogue and to influence policy making.

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