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The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HERO) Made possible through funding form the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Battle for Women’s Property Rights in Kenya

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Rachel Korir's fight against her brothers over their father's property went up to a high court in Kenya, challenging recent constitutional reforms.
Rachel Korir's fight against her brothers over their father's property went up to a high court in Kenya, challenging recent constitutional reforms.
Rachel Korir sits outside her new house that she built from earnings through her tea farm. Korir's fight against her brothers over their father's property went up to a high court in Kenya, challenging new laws. Photo by Dominic Kirui

What a daughter’s inheritance fight reveals about Kenya’s constitutional reforms, which aimed to provide equal land access between men and women.

Access to property is arguably one of the most important paths for women’s income security. But for many, there are not only economic barriers to owning property but also legal obstacles. For example, there are approximately 75 countries where women still do not have the same rights as men to inherit property.

On today’s episode of The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women, we follow the story of Rachel Korir. Her legal battle to get her fair share of her father’s property in Kenya revealed gaps in the country’s recent constitutional reforms, which aimed to make property rights equal among men and women. We also speak to Cardiff University professor Ambreena Manji, who specializes in East African land, law, and development. Two years ago, Manji also wrote a book titled The Struggle for Land and Justice in Kenya.

Special thanks this week to Dominic Kirui, who first reported about Korir and helped us produce our interview; Olivia Bitanihirwe, who provided Korir’s voice-over; and Mary Ellen Iskenderian, the president and CEO of Women’s World Banking. An early conversation with Iskenderian got us thinking more about property rights.

About The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HERO):  Could empowering women in the workplace be the simplest way to boost the global economy moving? Host Reena Ninan talks to women around the world changing the status quo in surprising ways to improve their lives, their families, and ultimately, the world. The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HER♀) is a Foreign Policy podcast supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. HER listeners can learn more about these topics by signing up for special access to an FP Analytics policy brief on gender equality. Sign up by clicking here.  See All Episodes

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