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Proposed changes to Tonga land laws don’t give women equal rights

[From Radio New Zeland International] A womens rights campaigner says while recommended changes to Tonga’s land laws are a huge step forward, they still contain archaic thinking about the role of women in society.

The Royal Land Commission has released a report recommending women be given equal rights to register town allotments, which are generally used for building homes.

But one commissioner, Lord Tevita Tupou, says women should not be allowed to register larger bush allotments because farming is men’s work.

Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki from the Women’s and Children’s Crisis Centre says that reasoning is not acceptable.

“The reasoning behind them not being able to register bush allotments I think is a bit of an archaic reason. I think we should steer away from that because agriculture is not just done by men in Tonga, it’s done by men and women ans in the rural communities there’s a huge population of women there.”

Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki from the Women’s and Children’s Crisis Centre.