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Michelle Poulin, UC Berkeley

Seeds of Unity: Examining the Link Between Joint Land Titles and Women's Status in Western Uganda
When Feb 12, 2024
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Morrill Hall - in-person
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Presentation

Improving women’s rights and access to property is a central objective of policies aimed at promoting gender equality in Africa. A recent experiment in Uganda made strides toward this goal by offering subsidized formal land titles to households and encouraging men to include their wives on the titles. In this qualitative study, embedded within the survey data as part of the experiment, we investigate two key aspects of the initiative: firstly, the meaning and significance of newly-acquired titles for recipients and, secondly, the implications of these titles for marriage dynamics and women’s status. Whereas household bargaining models predict that joint titling increases a woman’s decision-making power by increasing her control over household resources, our findings reveal that couples with joint titles did not commonly perceive these titles as conferring new rights or control to women within the marriage. Even before obtaining titles, women held a good deal of influence in the management of marital property. Joint titles do exert an influence on household dynamics, however, by symbolizing a husband's commitment to the conjugal unit. Women’s sense of land tenure security is enhanced mainly through an improvement in their sense of marital security. As symbols of commitment, joint titles possess the potential to foster spousal cooperation and elevate the quality of marital relationships. 

About the Speaker

Michelle Poulin

Michelle Poulin is a sociologist and demographer. She is currently Executive Director of the Berkeley Population Center at the University of California, Berkeley, following nearly a decade as a Sociologist at the Gender Innovation Lab, Africa Region, World Bank. Her research focuses on the interplay between population and development, with related interests in life course, reproductive health and HIV, gender dynamics, and family demography.

Seminar Format

Location IN PERSON: 1101 Morrill Hall.  We are requesting advanced registration so that we can track capacity.  Please use this link to RSVP.


Location ONLINE VIA ZOOM: Zoom Registration Link. Upon registration, you will receive an automatically generated email with the direct link for the seminar


COVID-19 Information

MPRC public events for Fall 2023 will be a mix of in person and online via Zoom.  For in person events, all event attendees must follow current protocols


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