Gender Justice

Gender Justice

It is important to strengthen understanding of property rights for women and men as equal citizens. Because women in Uganda are often not treated as equal citizens, addressing what rights women have, how to communicate women's rights and the issues preventing women from exercising their rights is paramount. There is need to increase knowledge of Ugandans their legal rights to property, understanding and recognition of women's and men's equality before Ugandan law, and ability to exercise and protect their own property rights while respecting others' rights. The first step in securing property rights is bringing knowledge to women, men, leaders, and communities of everyone's legal rights and emphasizing that women's legal rights exist, are protected by law, and are just as important as men's.

Women's Rights in the Land Act

The law does not allow women to be discriminated against in decisions about land. Any decision taken on customary land that denies women ownership, occupation or use of land is illegal.

Both spouses—husbands and wives—have the right to use and live on family land as long as the parties are both still married to each other.

Family land is defined as: Land where the family home is situated, Land that helps sustain the family, such as farmland (for crops, cattle) or land from which the family earns an income, or Land that, according to the family's norms, custom, or tradition, is called family land.

A spouse (husband or wife) first has to get the approval or consent of the other spouse before either of them can carry out any transaction on family land. Such transactions include sale, exchange, mortgage, or lease. A husband's or wife's permission to sell, lease, exchange, transfer, or mortgage family land must be given personally in writing to the Land Committee.

A wife may make an objection (called a caveat) on the Certificate of Title or on the Certificate of Customary Ownership as a way of publicly documenting her right to consent to transactions on the land. A husband may do the same. A woman has a right to appeal a decision on a land dispute if she is not satisfied with it.

The law requires at least one-third of the members of a District Land Board or the Land Committee to be female. At least one-third of the officers of a Communal Land Association must be women.