TERREWODE

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TERREWODE

Uganda
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Alice is transforming patriarchal social structures at the village level to enable women to become land owners as a means to ensuring their economic prosperity.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Land is a crucial source of livelihood for Ugandans, especially for those who live in rural areas, as agriculture is the main source of livelihood in such areas. Women however have historically been more susceptible to land grabbing by people from within and without their families. The 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda was therefore revised to provide for the emancipation of women through the introduction of Section 38A which stipulates that the consent of one’s spouse must be obtained before the other spouse can make any transaction with family land, including selling, pledging, mortgaging, exchanging or transferring it. Since the introduction of this spousal consent law, women in the urban centers have exercised their right to be equal parties in and decision makers in the way the land co-owned by them and their spouses is used. The widespread awareness of this law within the urban center and the ease of access to law enforcement agencies make it easy for women in urban areas to fend off abusive husbands and opportunistic relatives who pose a threat to their land ownership status. In the rural areas however, the situation isn’t as straight forward. Not only are the women in these areas illiterate and poor- making access to legal services near to impossible, they also have to conform traditional governance structures that are patriarchal in nature. Disempowering cultural practices dictate that women cannot own land and that upon the death of their husbands, they have to be inherited by their in-laws along with their husbands’ assets. Because the land the women farm on doesn’t belong to them, neither does the produce nor the revenue they generate from their farming activities. So, although there is no law barring women from owning land, these prejudiced cultural practices take precedence and are reinforced even further in post conflict areas. To solve the problem, Alice is creating a visible body of law at the local level that makes everyone in the rural communities she is working with aware that women have the right to own land. To accomplish this, she is on one hand working at the district level with women’s groups and local leaders to draft district level bi-laws that protect women’s right to own land. On the other hand, she is creating a grassroots framework of activists including women, local leaders and retired civil servants to actively facilitate the enforcement of these laws in behalf of poorest and most vulnerable women in their communities.