African parliaments can do more for women to achieve agenda 2063, say speakers of national parliaments

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Midrand, South Africa, 7 August 2015 (ECA) - Delegates attending The Annual Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments held on 6-7 August 2015, at the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, South Africa called on national parliaments to develop effective policies to help improve women’s land rights, economic status and political participation

With the theme of the conference as "2015 The Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”, participants noted the difficulty faced by  women in attaining legal rights to facilitate access and control of land as well as limited access to financial services.          

“Absence of legal ownership of land leaves women with economic stagnation, food insecurity and social inequity,” noted Ms. Joan Kagwanja, Chief of the Land Policy Initiative (LPI) at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). She called on national governments to support the call for a 30% target for women with regard to new land allocations and documentation of land rights as well as employment in institutions of land administration and management.

In its resolutions, the conference welcomed the call to increase women’s ownership to land and security of land tenure, encouraging the Pan African Parliament to work closely with the LPI in engaging regional and national assemblies to institute appropriate interventions, exchange of knowledge and best practices.

The conference noted the need to build capacities for research, legislative reforms and monitoring in support of women’s access to land and security of land tenure. The conference further noted the precarious nature of women’s rights in the context of customary land jurisdictions, calling for reforms to guarantee access to land and affordable methods of securing land rights for women and other marginalised groups.

 

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