CELADA was pleased to collaborate with University of Ottawa’s Assistant Professor, Chris Huggins, in hosting a panel presentation on March 27th, 2019 entitled “Governance of African Land Rights, and Implications for Women. Attendees included students, faculty, policy makers and development practitioners, and discussions explored the potential for Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy to strengthen African women’s access and rights to land.
Canada has a Feminist International Assistance Policy that commits 50% of Canada’s overseas assistance funding is dedicated programmes in Africa. In most African countries, agriculture and other resource-based livelihoods remain important to the majority of the population. In farming communities, women are responsible for much of the labour – at least 50% although it is often said to be 70% – but they rarely have full control over the land that they farm. It is extremely rare for women to actually have full legal ownership over land, for various legal, cultural, financial and other reasons. Some countries, such as Rwanda and Kenya, among many others – have put in place laws on inheritance and land ownership which provide women with legal rights to register land in their own name. However, in practice, there are often barriers which prevent women from taking ownership. This is especially the case for those who are not formally married or are second or third wives (i.e. in polygamous households).
Chris Huggins moderated an insightful panel discussion which featured four highly experienced, expert women who talked about different aspects of this topic:
- Nyambura Githaiga, Canadian Foodgrains Bank
- Lindsay Mossman, Aga Khan Foundation
- Shakilla Umutoni, Rwanda High Commission to Canada
- Jean Symes, Interpares
We welcome you to review some of their presentations for further details!