Women discriminated against land ownership despite legal guarantees
Women continue to be discriminated against their right to own land according to a new report by the Kenya Land Alliance. The Kenya Land Title Issuance Disaggregated Data Analysis reveals a gaping gender disparity in issuance of land title deeds since 2013. Out of a sample size of 1,000, 099 of about 3,200, 000 titles issued, women only got 103,043 titles representing 10.3 percent, while men got 865,095 titles representing 86.5 percent.
This glaring disparity is manifest when viewed against the actual land sizes titled for women and men. The data sampled shows that out 10,129,704 hectares of land titled between 2013 and 2017 women got 163,253 hectares representing a paltry 1.62 percent, while men got 9,903,304 hectares representing 97.76 percent.
Speaking during the launch of the report, NGEC Head of Communications Mr. Daniel Waitere said the Commission found a clear pattern of discrimination on the part of allocation of land to women based on the statistics. “There is every reason for concern that despite the existence of a robust legal framework in the form of the Constitution of Kenya and several statutes, the distribution of land has not adhered to gender equality and social justice”. Said Waitere.
Mr. Waitere noted that Kenya had made significant steps to achieve land and property rights for women in light of regional and international conventions. He said the Commission would study the recommendations emanating from the audit and take necessary action. “We would also like to hear specific concerns from women who have been disenfranchised, disinherited or denied access and control of land for whatever reasons for our action”. He added.
Kenya Land Alliance Chief Executive Officer Odenda Lumumba called on the government to address the huge inequalities in land and property through effective implementation of constitutional provisions to secure women land rights.
National Land Commission Chairperson Mohammed Swazuri acknowledged that despite the major contribution by women in the agriculture sector most of them still own little land. He said his Commission would endure both men and women get equal opportunities in acquisition of land.