LAND RIGHTS ADVOCACY

LAND RIGHTS ADVOCACY

Lack of ownership and control of land as a major productive resource by women is one of the most critical issues handled by TERREWODE. Land is a basis of livelihood for most Ugandans especially those who live in rural areas as agriculture is their major source of revenue. Poor women however cannot engage in farming for sustainable livelihood because they do not own land on which they farm neither do they have control over the revenues and produce on the land they cultivate. Women are historically and culturally more susceptible to land injustices by people from within and outside their families. TERREWODE is leading advocacy for the provision of economic safety nets for the most volunarable women including Fistula clients who have no where to go as a critical component for their economic empowerment.

Despite the introduction of the law of Spousal consent in the 1995 constitution of the Republic of Uganda and no particular law barring women from land, rural women still have limited access to ownership and decision-making where land is concerned. This is because of illiteracy, limited access to legal services and traditional governance structures that are patriarchal in nature.

Our goal is to build community capacity to advocate for land rights of especially rural women and girls through training information sharing, psychosocial support services, partnership and research to allow females to inherit property particularly land to strengthen national laws on land rights so that more women can co own land with their spouses and or purchase land in their right.

TERREWODE has also set tactical objectives to .address the land rights need. They include;

* Promoting awareness among key district stakeholders to enact bi-laws and/strengthen enforcement of national laws on land rights so that more women can co own land with their spouses, inherit land or purchase land in their own rights.

* Building capacity of women’s structures, groups and organizations to advocate for pro women policies and programs.

* Regularly conducting research on women’s land rights to establish linkages and use funding to improve program design, implementation, funding in the districts of our operation.

Concrete strategies basing on a survey conducted to establish the undeniable link between the lack of females’ land rights, poverty and poor maternal as well as child health have been put in place. These strategies include;

1. Using grassroots women’s movements to create a social support network to bridge the gap between customs and the law,
2. Continuing to provide sensitization and education about rights through advocacy,
3. Building capacity of grass root women movement to document and report violations of their land rights,
4. Working with government officials to create by laws to reinforce the constitution’s provision of land rights,
5. Building capacity of cultural and clan leaders to develop new traditions and norms in line with the law to protect and promote rights of females to land,
6. Facilitating engagements to decrease the barriers that prevent women from bringing land cases to courts of law and empowering grass root women to participate in the local government’s land rights processes.

Within a period of three years from now, TERREWODE is expecting greater awareness about the importance of females inheriting land from their parents, increased cases reported on violations of their land rights and increased number of females purchasing land in their own rights.