Norms and Customs of the Baganda on Property Inheritance among Women and Girls, a Case of Busujju County, Mityana District
ABSTRACT This study sought to assess the norms and customs of the Baganda on property inheritance among women and girls. The specific objectives of the study were: to establish the influence of customary norms and practices on inheritance of property among women and girls; to examine the gendered impact of norms and customs of the Baganda on property inheritance among women and girls and to identify ways in which norms and customs of the Baganda on property inheritance among women and girls can be engendered. The study was conducted in Busujju Sub-county, Mityana district among women and girls. Busujju County was chosen because of the socio-economic status of the people that forces them to depend on farming (UBOS, 2014). 80% of the Ugandan population lives in rural areas where they practice farming (UBOS, 2014) and out of that population, majority (57%) are women (UDHS 2011). Thus this necessitated covering the unique experiences of rural women who predominantly rely on land and other related resources to practice farming that majority acquire through inheritance (Deere & Doss, 2008). Qualitative methods of data collection were used thus the study was purely qualitative in nature. Primary sources obtained from the field included personal interviews, questionnaires, focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, key informant interviews and observations. Qualitative methods of data collection were employed to come up with a clear understanding of the experiences of women and girls in relation to inheritance of property, challenges faced and their current position in the society. From the primary data collected, the study established that there is relative change in inheritance of property among widows and daughters of the deceased. On the practice of widow inheritance, though some respondents indicated instances of widow inheritance, majority noted that due to HIV/AIDs, this practice is ceasing completely. Majority respondents indicated that boys or men are made heirs whereas girls and women normally take on the role of ‗Lubuga‖ charged with the caring role within the bereaved homestead. Findings further revealed that some women inherit property though still under the threat of losing it to their brothers or other male relatives. Customs and practices showed that women and girls are considered as appendage to men basing on the relationship they attach to each other, as either a wife, mother or sister. There is need to enforce inheritance rights and sensitise societies about the importance of women and girls‘ inheriting property.