Policy Brief Land and property rights critical for women empowerment

Land ownership is critical for women Empowerment: Land is a primary source and crucial asset for households, especially women who primarily depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Ownership and control over land plus control over produce obtained from land use in Northern Ugandan, like most parts of Uganda, is unequal and disfavours women. The greatest disparity being in ownership and decision making over the produce obtained from land use. Gender disparities in land rights are the underlying causes of conflicts and poverty among women. Access, control, ownership and utilisation of land are important factors in poverty alleviation. Inadequate control over the use of land hampers productivity and investment by women yet, they are the main users of land.

Only 27% of registered land is owned by women yet, 70% of the women are engaged in agriculture. Less than 20% control outputs of their efforts. Women are given small plots of land like the size of a house. Such a practice will not make women shift from the poverty box.

In Uganda today, only 27% of registered land is owned by women yet 70% of the women are engaged in agriculture and surprisingly less than 20% control outputs of their efforts (UNHS 2012/13). Women, do not enjoy the same opportunities as men in terms of access and participation in social, political, legal-cultural and economic development. In Uganda, 80% of the women usually do not have a say on how land is used unless they have rented it (FAO Country Gender Assessment 2016). When women are given land, they are given small plots like the size of a house, such a practice will not make women shift from the poverty box. To achieve optimal productivity, women must access, control and own land. The ministry of lands needs to consider the obstacles women face with regard to tenure and the associated tenure rights and devise measures to redress the imbalance. It is only in protecting women’s rights to
land that women productivity can increase then, the health and wellbeing of the family will improve.

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Thank you to all who supported us on this journey, including the untiring colleagues at CARE International in Uganda.

AB. Gabazira
Country Director, CARE International in Uganda