34%

Culture change as more Taita Taveta women own land

Lobby advocating joint ownership of land for couples to eradicate discrimination and inequalities.

In Summary

• Increase attributed to tremendous campaigns and sensitisation on land rights.

• Some residents still holding on to the culture of denying women the right to inherit or own land.

At least 34 per cent of women in Taita Taveta county now own land with title deeds, signifying an increase of nine per cent in the last one year.

At least 34 per cent of women in Taita Taveta county now own land with title deeds, signifying an increase of nine per cent in the last one year.

A report by Taita Taveta Human Rights Watch, Action Aid and Kenya Land Alliance also shows that more women have been included in the three Community Development Agreement Committees (CDACs) in the region.

Taita Taveta Human Rights Watch chairman Haji Mwakio attributed the increase to tremendous campaigns and sensitisation on land rights.

“For the past four years, we have been advocating women inclusion in land and natural resources ownership, access and control. The campaign is geared towards achieving sustainable development for all,” he said.

The lobby group is further advocating joint ownership of land for couples to eradicate discrimination and inequalities. Joint ownership, Mwakio said, will reduce the risk of losing land to in-laws once a spouse passes on.

“Many land tussles pitting family members can be solved if people embrace joint land registration,” Mwakio said during the launch of the report in Voi.

County Land Registrar Sego Manyarkiy said Wundanyi subcounty recorded the lowest number of women owning land. He said many residents are still holding on to the culture of denying women the right to inherit or own land.

“There is the cultural effect, especially in the rural areas. They still believe that the land belongs to the head of the family,” Sego said.

The Sauti ya Wanawake chairperson in charge of Mwangea branch, Macrina Mwamburi, said the programme had created an avenue for women and the youth to benefit from land use.

She cited increased number of women involved in artisanal mining and farming through kitchen gardens.