Gender and Land in Traditional Land Management Area (TLMA) Mwansambo in Malawi: Gender Assessment Brief

The USAID Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) program is working with the government of Malawi to support gender-responsive customary land registration in the traditional land management area (TLMA) Mwansambo in Nkhotakota District.

Traditional Authority (TA) Mwansambo is predominantly rural and farming dependent. It is a Chewa matrilineal area that normally has broader women’s rights to land, but with a patrilocal form of marriage (chitengwa) that tends to restrict women’s land rights. ILRG will provide technical assistance to strengthen the district-level land registry and support land clerks; promote the inclusion of women and youth in the land documentation process; engage key stakeholders to shift gender norms around women’s land rights; and convene dialogues with national and international stakeholders to discuss lessons learned and build positive momentum.

To better understand the barriers and opportunities for gender-responsive and socially inclusive customary land registration and inform program implementation, a gender assessment was carried out in September and October 2021. Quantitative data was gathered through a semi-structured questionnaire with 447 respondents. Qualitative data was collected through in-depth key informant interviews with 19 stakeholders at national, district, and community levels, as well as 15 focus group discussions (FGD) and participatory exercises with 180 men, women, young men, and young women from seven communities. This brief provides an overview of the findings and recommendations of the assessment; the full gender assessment report with details on the methodology, a socioeconomic profile of TA Mwansambo, findings, recommendations, and data collection tools can be found here.