Nairobi, Friday 14th October… “Equitable access, transparent and cost effective administration of land and elimination of gender discrimination in law, customs and practices related to land and property is crucial in ensuring fair distribution of land,” Lands CS, Professor Jacob Kaimenyi has said.
Prof. Kaimenyi related lack of or limited access and control of land by women to insensitive and negative cultures that entrench patriarchy, and continue to hinder women from acquiring their land rights
The Lands CS spoke when he launched the Rural Women Land Right Charter at the Laico Regency hotel before flagging off the Kilimanjaro initiative group to Arusha outside the hotel.
The Kilimanjaro initiative group aims at mobilizing African women to Arusha regardless of their status and disability to cry out for their rights.
“This is a great moment to listen to the voices of women across the continent on matters of land governance on women.” Said Prof. Kaimenyi.
The Lands CS called on Kenyans to respect Article 60 of the Kenyan Constitution which states that land in Kenya shall be held, used and managed equitably, efficiently, productively and sustainably.
He said that despite the enormous contribution by women in the agriculture sector and the national GDP, women access to and control over land in Kenya remain unclear with statistics of ownership ranging between one and seven per cent.
“Sixty four per cent of women form subsistence farmers, while 80 per cent contribute to the agricultural labor force in Kenya, and produce approximately 60 percent of farm-derived income”. He said
Prof. Kaimenyi urged women to report to the relevant authorities any government officials who make unreasonable demands including sexual favors from them before they can offer services to them.
In her remarks, Mrs. Faith Alube of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, said that Women face threat to life and difficulty in getting land documents from land offices.
“We need translation of land policies into different languages for women to understand this policies and educate other women on land polies and land governance.” She said
Those present at the launch included Lands and Physical Planning Permanent Secretary Arch. Mariamu el Maawy, the National Land Commission Chairman, Prof Muhammed Swazuri, the Executive Director, Action Aid Kenya Bijay Kumar.
The initiative is being supported by action Aid and KHRC under the auspices of the National Women Committee.
The women presented their demands in the form of the Charter which include:
- Promoting women’s participation on land governance units from local level
- Policy and legal Reforms that are relevant to realization of women land rights
- Engendering of Land Administration and governance
- Strengthening of women access and ownership of land and common property resources
- Regulation of large scale land acquisition/ grabs that affect women
- Access to justice (formal and informal) for women land rights
- Social inclusion for women with disability and HIV/AIDS on land And …
- Increased public investment in livelihood security that does not endanger Women’s land rights and protection of land rights activists advancing women land rights
Adopted from ministry of lands website: http://www.ardhi.go.ke/?p=590