More people could be fed if women have share in land ownership

13 Jul 2016 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 13 JUL (NAMPA) – The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung aims to strengthen the fair and secure access to resources and land as well as land-use rights for women in Namibia.
The Euros 1.2 million special initiative titled ‘For a world without hunger 2 – ‘Strengthening land ownership and land use rights for women in Sub-Saharan Africa’ targets women in the Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena and the Oshikoto regions for the period July 2016 until December 2019.
These women include widows and single mothers, women in traditional authorities and decision-making bodies, and media representatives.
Similar projects are run in Malawi and Zimbabwe.
Project partners in Namibia are the University of Namibia (UNAM), Women’s Action for Development (WAD) organisation, and the Legal Assistance Center (LAC).
Speaking at the launch of the project here on Wednesday, Project Manager of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Namibia-Angola Stefanie Braun said women are often disadvantaged in land laws by the socio-cultural environments as well as by outdated family and inheritance laws.
“Yet at the same time, they are responsible for the greater share of production in subsistence farming which represents a particular potential for development. In sub-Saharan Africa, women make up 50 per cent of small-scale farming but their access to productive resources is often limited,” she stressed.
Braun noted that despite the positive legal framework and the codification of gender equality in de facto, women do not have equal access to land.
“Women are often unable to defend themselves from the phenomenon of land grabbing due to an insufficient knowledge of the legal situation.”
She said experts found that about 100 million more people could be fed if more women worldwide had a share in land ownership, education and technology.
Braun added that strengthening women’s rights and improving the food supply requires a holistic approach.
“This project meets this demand by starting from the available legal foundations and international norms as well as the voluntary guidelines on land use by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).”
Awareness will also be raised among men to promote dialogue.