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Oct 22

Kenya’s New Guardians of Justice: Women Elders

For the first time, women in Kenya are helping to settle land disputes as traditional village elders.

About The Author

At the time this piece was written, Deborah Espinosa was a senior attorney, land tenure specialist, and photographer at Landesa. She is a land law and policy attorney with expertise in land tenure policy, legal and regulatory reform, women’s access and rights to land, land-related conflicts and dispute resolution, land titling and registration, and legal literacy. She also has broad expertise in environmental and natural resources law. Deborah has performed rural fieldwork to understand land-related customary law for purposes of designing new land policy, legislation, and interventions, with particular emphasis on women’s access to land. She has assessed a variety of proposed and existing land laws and policies, land conflict and dispute resolution mechanisms, and government-sponsored land programs. She has managed land dispute resolution and legal aid programs.Deborah is also an accomplished photographer. She is responsible for many of the powerful images on this website as well as many of the beautiful images in Landesa's print material.Her international experience includes Burundi, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Russian Federation, and Rwanda. Deborah earned her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law and an M.A. in Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. She also holds a Certificate in Career Training from the Rocky Mountain School of Photography and a B.A. in history from the University of California, Berkeley.


  1. […] examples of some promising programs that helped women gain more secure land rights.Finally, a new photo essay spotlights one impact of Landesa’s Justice Project in Kenya—newly elected female tribal […]

  2. […] Kenya’s New Guardians of Justice: Women Elders. It is a new day for the women of Ol Pusimoru, a remote community in Kenya’s Rift Valley. For the first time ever, the community has elected fourteen women to sit beside men as traditional elders, resolving some of the community’s most difficult issues: disputes related to land. | © Deborah Espinosa Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tags community election, elders, land dispute, rift valley, women Categories Uncategorized […]

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