Shun traditions that block women from land ownership

Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Physical Planning Farida Karoney has reiterated the government’s commitment to address inequality in land ownership in the country.

Karoney said time had come for the country to do away with traditions and norms that hinder women from owning and claiming land.

The Constitution guarantees women their rights to land. As a country, we must confront traditions that seem to favour men over women, said Karoney.

The CS said when women are treated with dignity and respect they open opportunities for economic and social transformation in the society.

She said to address the issues of land inequality, couples should jointly register as owners of their parcels of land and other properties saying that according to research women account for nearly half of the world’s smallholder farmers in developing countries.

The CS was speaking on Wednesday at the launch of the Implementation Framework on Women’s Right to Land at a Nairobi hotel.

The framework’s three objectives are to provide a framework for the implementation of the Rural Women’s Land Rights Charter, anchor the realization of women’s land rights mechanisms for synergy and coordinated actions by actors and to create a basis for mutual accountability for securing women’s land rights.

She said there was need to sensitize communities to embrace women as landowners, noting that most women have been accessing land through their husbands or sons and farm in areas where property is communal, or work as labourers.

It is a fact that where women control economic assets, they have a greater bargaining power and contribute more to the wellbeing of families, she added.

She however, urged women across the country to develop a positive attitude on land ownership so as to attain full ownership of land.

The CS said her ministry has managed to protect and secure land rights for Kenyans thorough the development of an integrated land informational management system and has also been able to fill gaps on land rights for vulnerable groups and minority communities through the national land use policy.

Speaking at the event, the Assistant Director National Land Commission Dr. Samuel Odari said the commission is working towards eradicating discrimination and inequality of women in access and control over land.

We are enforcing allocations for women in settlement schemes and commercial plots in urban sites and also targeting 10 percent annual increase of political and religious leaders who will help in advancing women’s right to land, said Odari.

Wednesday’s event is a culmination of a journey that started when Food and Agriculture Organization partnered with Rural Women and Civil Society Organisations to develop Kenya’s Rural Women’s Lands Rights Charter.

Source: Kenya News Agency