Securing women's land rights increases their chances for economic independence and bargaining power which lessens instances of gender-based violence.
On 10th December 2019, Action Aid, the International Land Coalition (ILC) and its members; the Kenya Land Alliance (KLA), NAMATI, Transparency International and the Resource Conflict Institute (RECONCILE) held a webinar to mark 16 days of Activism and Women Land Rights Violation.
In a space where conversations on gender-based violence rarely centre around the infringement of land rights, this webinar allowed discussions to touch on areas of access, control and ownership of land.
Here are some highlights from the webinar:
In today's society, traditional and cultural beliefs are subject to undermine inequality in the land sector. The government through its various reforms in laws governing customary tenure has tried to regulate such scenarios however, majority of indigenous women are still discriminated against accessing, controlling and owning land. Participants noted that not only do women face external forces denying them their rights to land but also their decisions to land matters are determined fully by what they are taught at a young age. For example, some communities discourage their girls from owning land.
Policies and laws in the land sector
Although the supreme law in the Kenyan constitution allows equitable access to land, tenure security and protection of the rights to property, the gap between women and the complex land management and administration processes still stands. The laws on succession and matrimonial property are still disadvantaging indigenous women in their struggle to realise equity in the land sector. To bring sanity in policies and laws governing land, ILC works with it members to ensure that processes of decision-making over land are inclusive, so that policies, laws, procedures and decisions concerning land adequately reflect the rights, needs and aspirations of individuals and communities.
When women have less influence, resources and information on land, they tend to rely on the male figures to take charge of the land. Women should be exposed to opportunities in the land sector and encouraged to take up leadership positions which will enable them to cater for their land and property transactions related to access, control and ownership.
Participants cited that in as much as reforms need to progress on women’s right to land and property, capacity building on the existing reforms among other technologies will empower women on their rights to land and property.
Follow the conversations via this link: