The Women Land Ownership Rights project funded by FRIDA- to Youth wing The CHIDA Young women Paralegals Comes to an End.
The one year “Women Land ownership and Property Rights project” funded by FRIDA- the young feminist, and implemented by CHIDA Young Women Paralegals came to an end on 30th August 2019. The project’s purpose was to advocate for women’s land ownership and property rights within the project 4 villages of Njiapanda ya Nyololo, Lwing’ulo, Nyololo Shuleni, and Njojo by fighting to end cultural norms which restrain women and girls owning land and matrimonial property inheritance after the death of husbands.
The project used several strategies to accomplish its objectives which included training programs, community dialogues, advocacy, edutainment rallies, and Village meetings. It raised communities’ awareness on women’s land and property rights, trained the 4 village Adjudicating committees on how to handle land conflicts. The training was also extended to Local government leaders at the village and ward levels, religious and community elders/leaders’ in the project area. As a result of the project, the local men’s attitudes and perceptions towards women’s human rights particularly the land ownership have changed. They now believe it is now a good norm to let their spouses and daughters own land and property as it solidifies the relationship among household members.
The project conducted strong awareness campaigns within existing cultural and local structures in the communities reaching 1,745 people in four villages. This has resulted in increased women’s boldness in applying for land ownership, families have started applying for joint land ownership and parents are in favor of giving boys and girls equal land ownership rights, and some families in the Community have shown willingness to start writing wills after an in-depth training(s). In general, husbands now are at the forefront of protecting their wives and children from repressive tradition norms. Religious leaders have become good advocates for the promotion of women’s land and property ownership rights. They often include the messages whenever necessary in their sermons in churches and mosques. This has helped many women who had lost properties after parents’ or spouse’s deaths to start seeking justice with assistance from the trained CHIDA Young Women Paralegals in liaison with Legal Aid Service provider in the area.
Regarding bad norms, culture, and exclusion practices have been weakened. The weakened traditional norms have led to increased inclusion of women in many activities that formerly they were excluded from. They are being included in the Village and Ward Adjudicating Land Committees as stipulated in the village land law. After training women and girls who are members of the Land Adjudicating Committees have improved their ability in terms of input contribution during ordinary Land council sessions and in other village structures as functionaries. They have become knowledgeable and kin on decisions about women’s needs and their fundamental rights