UGANDA, Kyegegwa | Real Muloodi News | Civil Society Organizations – CSOs – have urged Parliament to pass pro-people land reform legislation to eliminate gender and land rights disparities.
The Government of Uganda has developed a national land policy through the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development to offer a framework for defining the role of land in national development, land ownership, distribution, utilisation, alienability, management, and control of the land.
However despite this, CSOs believe that gender disparities in Uganda’s land tenure systems continue to hamper land productivity, provision of affordable housing, and equitable resource management promotion, all of which epitomise the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 1)
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics – UBOS, just 28% of women own property, indicating a clear gender imbalance in land ownership, usage, and control that impedes women’s participation in agricultural output, resulting in poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition in the nation.
World Bank Group research from 2018 indicates the gender gap impacts women’s land rights and capacity to start businesses. Given the pluralistic structure of the legal systems, it further restricts women’s other property rights.
With more than 80% of the population living in rural areas and relying on subsistence agriculture for a living, land access, ownership, and usage are critical economic, social, and environmental factors.
Flavia Kabahenda Rwabuhoro, a member of Parliament’s Natural Resources Committee and the Publicity Secretary for the Parliamentary Alliance on Nutritional and Food Security, calls for more awareness about the various hurdles that exist women’s for women’s land rights. She urges CSOs to prepare resolutions, petitions, and policy documents to change the legislation.
Oxfam Uganda’s Deputy Executive Director, Edward Mwebaze, adds that in 2019, the organisation conducted research that revealed that land remained a cause of inequality in Uganda, particularly in governance and administration.
Mwebaze says their results included recommendations for effective land tenure policy frameworks in Uganda that address gender-inclusive land access to land to harness fair resource utilisation and stimulate genuine socio-economic development.
He goes on to say that in 2021, they will conduct another research to investigate various cultural practices and conventions that inhibit women’s and young people’s property ownership and management.
According to Rehema Bavuma, Country Coordinator of Fian Uganda, a research and advocacy organisation based in Kampala, the arguments over traditional and mailo land tenure systems remain controversial, and planned land changes endanger residents.
Eron Kiiza, a human rights lawyer and the Chief Executive Officer of the Environment Shield, has noticed that prominent investment actors in the nation are now utilising their clout to intervene in land management issues.
He referenced the current Bugoma forest land conflict in Hoima, the Kiryandongo sugar project, and the Bukedea District’s quest to hold gold mining reserves property.
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