IWD: AGED decries lack of access, ownership of land by women

A non-governmental organisation, Africa Global Empowerment Development Network (AGED), has decried lack of access and ownership of land by women across the country.

Assistant Director Programme of AGED, Joy Ezekiel, stated this Monday during a roundtable dialogue on Women’s Access to land in celebration of InternationalWomen’s Day with the theme: “I choose to challenge”.

She said: “We at AGED network choose to challenge the disparity when it comes to women owning and accessing land.

We discovered over the years through our engagement with some of these community women that the land they inherited is being taken away from them.

They don’t have access to these lands. And when they plant on these lands they produce are taken away from them by their relatives who are male.

“So I choose to challenge that the fact that I am a woman does not mean I don’t have the right to own a land. In Nigeria there is no law that says I don’t have the right to own a land because I am a woman.

“I believe the government is aware of these problems, but at the community level, I don’t think women know that they have the right to own lands. So I think sensitization should start in that effect.

Let the community leaders be sensitized to know that women have rights to inherit lands; the men should also be sensitized to stop taking land that does not belong to them. We have to create awareness from the community level, local government, state and federal level.”

Earlier, the president of AGED Dr. Majidadi Bala Kontagora, described women as institution that must be supported.

“We at Africa Global Empowerment Development Network believe that women are an institution that must be supported. We have agreed to empower 100, 000 women and sponsor the education of 200 children every quarter.

“We are ready to support women. They can’t fight alone. How many women are in positions of authority in Nigeria, how many are in the cabinet of Mr. President, how many are in the national assembly?”

Meanwhile, a communiqué issued at the end of the round table, stakeholders called on traditional gatekeepers, Chairman of Area Councils, 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 in order to achieve food security.

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