Challenges and Opportunities in Inheritance Rights in Mozambique

9 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2011

See all articles by Elizabeth Cooper

Elizabeth Cooper

University of Oxford - Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology

Date Written: February 2011

Abstract

Recent laws, including Mozambique’s Family Law and Land Law, provide important protection and opportunities for equitable property and inheritance rights, including for women in so-called de facto unions (cohabitation without marriage).

A key policy debate in the revision of Mozambique’s Succession Law is the legal recognition of inheritance rights of people living in cohabiting and unmarried unions, including polygamous unions. A priority will be to make the legislation’s principles and language clear and easy to understand and enact.

With so many recent laws passed in Mozambique, there has been insufficient awareness and capacity building efforts throughout the country to ensure that these laws are understood and implemented. Practical efforts are required to realise the potential of Mozambique’s progress with its statutory law agenda.

Customary law remains dominant over inheritance practices in many areas of the country; engagement with customary leaders and investment in decentralised access to services is essential to ensure protection of widows’ and orphaned children’s property rights.

Suggested Citation

Cooper, Elizabeth, Challenges and Opportunities in Inheritance Rights in Mozambique (February 2011). Chronic Poverty Research Centre Inheritance Series Policy Note, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1775793 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1775793

Elizabeth Cooper (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

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