Notes to broadcasters
Gender inequality continues to cause serious problems in Africa and elsewhere. When women lack control over resources such as land, they are unable to make decisions which improve family income. Without control over family income, for example by growing cash crops, women contribute their time and labour only to maintain subsistence levels, and are more severely affected by poverty than men. And cultural traditions, which bar women from activities such as tree planting, limit their ability to conserve and promote environmental sustainability.
Land and property rights, in particular, are slowly taking centre stage in almost every public forum convened by government officials or civil society, and women are taking a leading role in the fight against discrimination. Gender equality is a human right and at the heart of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It is a must before overcoming hunger, poverty and disease. Gender equality means equality at all levels of education and in all areas of work, equal control over resources and equal representation in public and political life. This script looks at eliminating gender disparity in all sectors of life because we cannot enjoy development without security, we cannot enjoy security without development and we cannot enjoy either without respect for human rights. One way to adapt this script for your local audience is to interview someone in your community or region that is an activist for gender equality.
ScriptFade up signature tune 10 seconds then under host.
I lived happily with my husband for close to eighteen years when tragedy struck. My husband Daniel Omollo died of malaria. Suddenly, the whole world crumbled, including my joy at having been the darling of my in-laws. Everybody turned hostile. From my husband’s brothers to his parents, everybody demanded a share of the property.
(Pause) We learned many things today: the kinds of women rights, how discriminatory practices can be actively eliminated, and how activists in Siaya District are creating awareness. We heard that even those who have been discriminated against can regain hope. (Pause) Listener, this brings us to the end of today’s programme. Today we focused on women and property rights as a way to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women. We do hope that you learned something. Till we meet again. Bye.Signature tune for 10 seconds then fade out.
Contributed by: Rachael Adipo, Ugunja Community Resource Centre, Kenya.
Reviewed by: Carole Houlihan, International Development Consultant, Canada
There is no single formula for recommendations on tenure types for women’s access to land and property. Registered titles may be appropriate in some situations and customary titles for others. Provision of legal security and equal access to land and property for women requires action not only by governments, but by all sectors of society, including the private sector, non-governmental organizations, communities and local authorities, as well as by partner organizations and entities of the international community.
Women need an equal voice in decisions that affect their lives – from within the family to the highest level of government. This is a key element in women’s empowerment. For a long time men have dominated decision-making at the highest levels. Preventive and corrective measures for the expected undermining of women’s land and property rights due to current trends of economic policies must be prepared.