Land is the most important resource in Uganda because people depend on it for cultivation and therefore their livelihoods. In Uganda, as elsewhere in the world, unequal access to land is one of the most important forms of economic inequality between men and women and has consequences for women as social and political actors. Women provide 70-80 % of all agricultural labor and 90 percent of all labor involving food production in Uganda, yet they own only a fraction of the land.
Women’s right to land is a critical factor in social status, economic well-being and empowerment. Land is a basic source of livelihood providing employment, the key agricultural input, and a major determinant of a farmer’s access to other productive resources and services. Land is also a social asset, crucial for cultural identity, political power and participation in local decision – making process. Women’s access to other natural resources, such as water, firewood and forest products is also crucial for food security and income.
The Uganda Land Alliance appreciates that women’s rights to property are unequal to those of men in Uganda. Their right to own, inherit, manage and dispose of property re under constant attack from customs, laws and individuals who believe that women cannot be trusted with or do not deserve property. The devastating effects of property rights include poverty, disease, violence, HIV/AIDS and homelessness resulting in harm to women, their children and Uganda’s overall economy.
Uganda Land Alliance has since 2010 implemented a Women’s Land Rights Programme, the first of its kind in Uganda. The women’s land rights movement is aimed at enhancing women’s access, ownership and, control over land and other productive resources in order to meet their basic livelihood needs and enjoy a more improved tenure security in Uganda.
The Programme is organized under three main themes that have been identified as a theory of change. They include: Legal Empowerment of women, Communication and Social Movement Building and Land, Custom and Women.
The programe will:
a) Focus on influencing customary, religious and opinion leaders who are the custodians of these cultures in causing the desired change through continuous engagements and meetings.
b) Focus will be made on transforming community structures through working with them in meetings and dialogues to achieve the transformation.
c) Local government as a formal structure will be involved
d) Use role modeling to use as community advocates
Monitoring and evaluation
In monitoring and evaluation, will involve development of indicators that will measure progress towards equity for women in land rights in Uganda. Such indicators can include:
a) How women have achieved independent control over land through joint titling with issuing of separate share certificates for right-holders,
b) Whether women are acquiring rights over land in their own names,
c) Whether women are represented on community and landholding structures,
d) Whether women are well informed about the options and opportunities open to them with regard to land access and resource utilization and start pressing for greater autonomy
Project Goal: Enhancing the Quality of life of women in Uganda through tenure security
Authored by: Esther Obaikol, (2000)
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