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Women's Land Rights and customary tenure in Uganda

A contribution from the Land and Equity Movement (LEMU) for the on-line discussion "How can women's land rights be secured?"

Judy Adoko, Executive Director at the Land and Equity Movement (LEMU, Uganda) sent us a set of documents as a contribution for the on-line discussion “How can women’s land rights be secured?”.

You can find the following documents below, in attachment:  

1. Fighting the wrong battles? Towards a new paradigm in the struggle for women’s land rights in Uganda 

2. Understanding women’s land rights

3. How to manage customary tenure

4. How can womens land rights be best protected in the national land policy (Position Paper | Policy Brief)

And a number of resources dedicated to land grabbing, with some references on women’s land rights, by following this link: Lets fact upto land grabbing.

Below and excerpt from one of the document mentioned - Fighting the wrong battles? Towards a new paradigm in the struggle for women’s land rights in Uganda - which we invite you to read entirely:


Gender equality: a liberation struggle or a colonial imposition?

Rural women are very vocal about the unfairness they see in the treatment of women, particularly of widows and divorcees. Traditional village leaders also regularly stress that ‘their people’ respect the rights of women in general and widows in particular, and how wrong it would be not to protect them. Of course, this is often not refl ected in practice; but it is still signifi cant because it accepts the point of principle that women have rights. This raises the challenge: if cultural leaders and women themselves believe that the protection of women’s rights is part of justice, why is the struggle for women’s land rights often portrayed as a struggle against local culture? Why have gender activists had so little success in mobilising grass-roots women to fight for women’s rights? And why have gender activists attacked ‘traditional practices’ rather than enlisting indigenous beliefs about fairness as allies? The answer to these questions will help answer the biggest challenge: why, despite so much work on raising gender awareness, is the situation for rural women’s land rights not getting any better?

Rural women are very vocal about the unfairness they see in the treatment of women, particularly of widows and divorcees. Traditional village leaders also regularly stress that ‘their people’ respect the rights of women in general and widows in particular, and how wrong it would be not to protect them. Of course, this is often not refl ected in practice; but it is still signifi cant because it accepts the point of principle that women have rights. This raises the challenge: if cultural leaders and women themselves believe that the protection of women’s rights is part of justice, why is the struggle for women’s land rights often portrayed as a struggle against local culture? Why have gender activists had so little success in mobilising grass-roots women to fight for women’s rights? And why have gender activists attacked ‘traditional practices’ rather than enlisting indigenous beliefs about fairness as allies? The answer to these questions will help answer the biggest challenge: why, despite so much work on raising gender awareness, is the situation for rural women’s land rights not getting any better?

[…]

Document type: 
Research Paper
Author(s): 
Land and Equity Movement (LEMU)
Year: 
2010
Groups:

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