Govt backs campaign on women’s right to land

Audu Innocent Ogbeh

Audu Ogbeh

A movement to amplify women’s voice and participation in decision making, especially on matters relating to land and natural resource management in Nigeria has been launched by two International agencies, Oxfam and Actionaid.

Tagged “Kilimanjaro Initiative” the movement seeks to campaign against all forms of barrier on women’s rights to land and inheritance while advocating for land ownership by the indigenous communities.

At the event, which coincided with the 2016 International Women Day in Abuja, last week, participants called on government and businesses to provide secure access to land for smallholder farmers, especially for women who often do most of the work on the land but face the biggest battle to call it their own.

The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe represented by the Head of Gender Unit of the Ministry, Mrs. Ifeoma Anyawu said that with the population explosion in Nigeria in the near future, the country has no option than to back to agriculture and address challenges faced by women to create jobs and give voices to the rural women to enhance food security and accelerate development.

According to the Minister, The Ministry of Agriculture will make public on the robust road map for agriculture sector in due course. The Gender Desk Officers of Department/agencies and state director’s skills and competencies will be built to address gender gaps in project planning and implementation.

Oxfam’s Head of Programme, Constant Tchona represented by Livelihood and Private Sector Manager said that land has always been a human rights issue for rural women. Land is a right granted to women specifically by legal instruments in Nigeria (The Land use Act of 1978 and the Sharia law on inheritance). But in practice, the reality is quite different and sometimes dramatic, especially in terms of inclusive management or equitable access.

“There is no argument against the fact that rural women are a powerful driver for agricultural development however, their potential is still hampered by the disparities between men and women farmers.

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