Legal Literacy and Immovable Property: Laws, Norms and Practices in Colombia

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An equitable gender distribution of property ownership may be enhanced or limited by family law, individual knowledge of the law, and social norms. South America's laws of equal inheritance by sex and birth order and equal distribution of property upon divorce provide the basis of a gender-equitable distribution of property ownership. This report of a qualitative case study exploring the gendered knowledge of immovable property laws and the practice of patterns of property ownership in central Colombia provides insights into the gap between law and practice caused by lack of information, social norms, gendered access to legal titles, a complex legal system and high transaction costs. It argues for greater attention to titling, legal procedures, legal education and legal advice to secure effective immovable property ownership for women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1361-1384
Number of pages24
JournalDevelopment and Change
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012

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