The Federal Government has been urged to urgently address the disparity and land allocation and ownership, which is negatively impacting women’s access to land and robbing the nation of the benefits.
This is contained in a communique of a roundtable dialogue on “Women’s Access to Land” as part of activities marking this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), organised by the Africa Global Empowerment Development Network (AGED Network) on Monday in Abuja.
The communique was jointly signed by Assistant Director Programme, AGED Network, Joy Ezekiel; Managing Director, BEFA Women and Child Care Foundation, Aminatu Ibe; and Executive Director, Society for Women Development and Empowerment of Nigeria, Maimuna Mohammed, on behalf of other participants at the dialogue.
Ezekiel said the event was among others to build constructive dialogue and sharing of best practices on food security and access to land; to commit smallholder women farmers, CSOs, media and stakeholders to pledge their support for women’s access to land.
The forum observed that women’s access to land has improved over the years but the lack of title to lands has continued to present a major hindrance to women farming household livelihood and their capacity to effectively contribute to national food security.
“The right to own land by women is in consonance with the provisions of the constitution of the FRN (Sec 43 of the 1999 Constitution as amended), and the Land Use Act but subsisting customary land use system, patriarchal system of inheritance, societal norms and beliefs, women ignorance of their rights in this respect, and their poor economic power to acquire land are key barriers to women rights of own land in Nigeria,” the communique said.
The forum therefore calls on traditional gatekeepers, chairmen of area councils in the FCT, state governors including the FCT Minister to remove all cultural and regulatory hindrances to women ownership of land in accordance with the land use act and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of (as amended) and in order to achieve food security.
The forum called on Government at national and sub-national levels including traditional gatekeepers to remove all hindrance to women access and ownership of farmland as a strategic approach to improve women’s contribution to food security and enhance their livelihood.