Resilience of women, persons with disabilities and youth in the face of inequality: A story on access, utilization and ownership of land in Lira District, northern Uganda
On 30th April 2018, FAPAD with support from the CEA Programme, supported a group of farmers’ from the five target sub counties of Amach, Agali, Barr, Ngetta and Agweng to converge at Margarita Palace Hotel in Lira, for a dialogue engagement with cultural leaders in Lango. The dialogue meeting was concerning access, utilization and ownership of land by women, youth and persons with disabilities.
The CEA Programme was crucial in identifying key emerging issues limiting access, utilization and ownership of land by women, PWDs and youth through community gathering meetings held at parish level per Sub County. It’s here that other issues were agreed to be forwarded to the sub county level for better management and action.
“From this onwards, we pledge to prioritize issues limiting access, utilization and ownership of land by women, PWDs and youth. We further pledge to ensure that each family in each of our clans allocate at least two acres of land for the girls and women in their families, irrespective of whether they are married or divorced” .
Jerubabel Okori-clan chief,
30/04/2018, Lira District.
FAPAD in coordination with farmer platform members then sought for the attention of sub county leaders through sub county dialogue engagement meetings, that further enabled the women, PWDs and youth raise these critical issues of concern hence seeking for leaders actions towards issues identified. It was at this level that sub county leaders took on some issues and those that could not be effectively managed at their level was forwarded to the district level.
Representatives of women, PWDs, and youth from all the target sub counties converged at Margarita Palace Hotel in Lira to dialogue with cultural and district leaders on the issues limiting their access, utilization and ownership to land. Among these leaders included; clan chiefs, chiefs in charge of land, women and youth affairs at clan level, due to the level of respect and influence they have in decision –making at clan and family level. The RDC Lira, Lira District Chairperson and Secretary Community Based services were all present. It was at the district meeting that all the clan leaders unanimously agreed to ensure allocation of at least two acres of land to women in by each of their households.
The cultural leaders further pledged to allocate resources for sensitizing each of their community to ensure equitable allocation of land to women, PWDs and youth, a move that had never made in the history of Lango cultural institution. This prouncement remains paramount as it will lead to increase of food, nutrition and income security among women, PWDs and youth further leading to increased productivity due to better access, utilization and ownership of land.
In 2017, FAPAD with support from the CEA Programme, mobilized small-scale farmers into groups. These groups had a representation of women, PWDs, youth and opinion leaders. They went ahead to call themselves the farmer plat forms; whose mandate was to identify issues limiting small-scale farmers’ access to quality seeds. The other responsibility was to further identify issues affecting access, utilization and ownership to land by women, PWDs and youth and engage leaders and other stakeholders for actions. With resources from the CEA Programme, FAPAD capacitated the small-scale farmers to identify issues of concern, dialogue with relevant leaders at sub county and district levels, on emerging issues limiting their access to land and quality seeds, in abid to improve food, nutrition and income security. Weak enforcement of local and national laws and policies were the basis for these engagements.
In order to maximize results, farmers used evidence based advocacy approach in seeking for duty bearers actions. Some demands at sub county level included; productive assets such as land, integration of farmers priority needs into sub county budgets and plans for financial year, 2018/2019. Farmers further lobbied for improved extension services especially by the sub county agricultural extension workers, the need for improved access to land especially by women, PWDs and youth for effective production of crop yield for both consumption and sale. Emerging issues that were beyond the capacity and reach of sub county leadership, were then forwarded to the district level using the same processes. Overall, the CEA Programme has been credited for improving access of women, PWDs and youth to productive assets especially land. This has led to an increase in food, nutrition and income security thus improving the welfare of these vulnerable categories. The cultural leaders further acknowledged their role in promoting the rights of women, PWDs and youth concerning access, utilization and ownership of land.
Published with support from the Civic Engagement Alliance (CEA) Programme