We the 467 participants gathered in Kampala, Uganda 7 – 9 December 2016, comprising grassroots women, male champions for women’s land rights, professionals, women’s rights activists, scholars, members of parliament, policy makers and practitioners;
Conscious that human rights are inherent and that all human beings are equal and entitled to all rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind such as sex, race, color, language, religion, political or other opinion or social origin, property, birth or status;
Recalling the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030); AU’s Agenda 2063; the Maputo Protocol; The Africa Framework & Guidelines on Land Policies in Africa; the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Conferences on Financing for Development; the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Land, Fisheries, and Forests;
Concerned that despite enactments, proclamations and declarations on the universality of human rights, the rights of women to acquire, hold/control and deal in land among others in Uganda is limited by social, economic and political factors;
Bearing in mind that whereas women form 80% of the agricultural labour force in Uganda there is increasing feminization of poverty attributed to lack of access, control and ownership of land and other productive assets;
Considering that the power of women to acquire land through purchase or transfer is limited by their capacity to purchase because of their weaker economic status;
Convinced that people living in poverty and rural women will achieve higher levels of economic independence and more secure livelihoods if their rights to land are assured;
Recognizing that denial of women’s rights to property and land in particular reinforces their economic dependence on men therefore impeding their ability to effectively achieve their own, and contribute to their families’ better livelihoods;
Realizing the need for deliberate laws and policies as well as their effective implementation to promote women’s acquisition, control and utilization of land;
Considering that the voice of women on land has gone unheard for decades, we raise our voices in unison as citizens of this country saying we do not only want to see equality on paper through policies and laws….. we want to experience equality in our lives… for we are not sojourners….. we are citizens of this country and our rights to land must be guaranteed by the state;
WE DEMAND THAT Government, Civil Society, scholars, the private sector and development actors:
- In full compliance with national, regional and international aspirations of women‘s rights instruments, every land administration decision and action must fully involve women themselves as the rights holders regardless of her birth, age, tribe, social origin/affiliation, religion, marital status, fortune, and political or other opinion;
- Uphold and implement fully the provisions of the CEDAW and the Protocol to the African Demands on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of women in Africa, that enshrine the right to equal access to, ownership and control of land, livelihood and acceptable living conditions; Agenda 2030; the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests as well as the AU Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa.
- Fully implement Article 26 and 33 of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda which uphold and protect rights to own property and land;
- Ensure good and gender sensitive land governance including clear instruments for documentation of women’s rights to land across all tenure types.
- Improve access to justice for women and provide universal legal aid for women to seek redress for any violations of their land rights.
- Outlaw bad customary and written laws and practices that negatively affect women’s tenure security; Institute formal and cultural deterrent mechanisms against individuals, groups or associations of persons companies or institutions that evict, dispossess or disinherit women of their land.
- Respect, protect and enforce the right of every woman in Uganda to hold and use land free of fear and violence, for their economic empowerment.
- Regulate businesses and investments so they are accountable for respecting human rights, environmental, social and labour standards; review public policies that fuel land grabs, and replace them with policies that prioritize sustainable land use taking into account the unique needs of women and other small-scale food producers; and ensure the free, prior & informed consent of all communities affected by land-based investments inclusive of extractives.
- Generate status of land governance in Uganda using gender indicators to provide evidence and gendered information on land ownership that will be used to close the gender gap in land holding.
- Target women with incentives for land allocation, utilization as well as facilitate land transactions and funding to promote equal opportunities;