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Women’s Land Rights Study launch, LLA opens Gender Unit

Jos Garneo Cephas Sr.
The Women Legislative Caucus Chair, Rep. Rosana Schaack addressing a cross section of women including development partners and other organizations.
The Women Legislative Caucus Chair, Rep. Rosana Schaack addressing a cross section of women including development partners and other organizations.

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-The Liberia Land Authority (LLA) in collaboration with the USAID-Land Governance Support Activities (LGSA) has marked the official launchof the Women’s Land Rights Study and opened a Gender Unit at the LLA.

The launching of the study report and opening of the Women Land Rights (WLR) marks a millstone in reorganizing the role women plays in the land reform process of Liberia.

The Chairperson of the Women Legislative Caucus, Representative Rosana Schaack, performedthe ceremony Wednesday, June 6, 2018alongside with other partners in Monrovia.

The Legislative CaucusChair said: “Thelaws makers including rural women will work with President George Weah for the implementation of his pledge made for women rights, while the research findings were necessary to refine the Land Rights Bill and enhance law makers make strong land governance law.”

The Chairman of the LLA, Dr. Othello Brandy, said the land reform process is progressing fast and must be seen as a proper basis on which Government’s Pro-Poor Agenda hinges. Chairman Brandy said: “The Land Rights Bill, is a comprehensive law to fundamentally alleviate poverty and change the imbalance of power in Liberia”.

He stressed that as part of activities of the Gender Unit, it is to encourage women training to help them become surveyors because women involvement will help balance the inner working and decision being made by policy makers in the sector.

USAID-LGSA Chief of Party, Dr. Yohannes Gebremedhin, said the advantage of Women rights and land ownership is to ensure improvement of human and institutions on capacity building.

Dr. Gebremedhin noted that the objectives of the study are to ensure customary rights, to address gender disparities for an equitable distribution process of land in Liberia.

The study conducted in  Grand Bassa, Nimba, and Maryland counties , says about 80 to 90 % of women in these localitiesare not married and are involved in de-facto union.

The study took into consideration women’s access, use, and control of land differ from, and  they are less secured than men, because rural women depend on accessing and using land for several purposes including, housing, livelihood, and welfare ect.

The study was concerned also about women access to justice and dispute resolution systems for largely biased against women and that of women in concession areas being faced with unique gender-specific challenges to land rights.

Other considerations of women are based on law and practices around marriage reinforce land-related gender basis, law regulating inheritance and its gaps. Others include women’s participation in land governancewhich  is low or in certain cases are absent in both statutory and customary governance system.

The recommendations from the research findings will help address gender disparities in the context of land reforms which is not easy. Effectively addressing also take time and effort sometimes make it more expensive in the initial stages of a project or program, the findings observed.

 


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