An organisation has rolled out grassroots sensitization of women across 14 pastoral counties on land issues in efforts to ensure they also take part in key land decisions.
Women’s access to and control over land use is curtailed by a culture that allows men who head the family to control and manage resources.
Samburu Women Trust is going rounds educating various women groups on the need to develop an interest in land issues and participate in county governments’ public participation sessions.
During recent Annual Indigenous Women Conference in Isiolo that brought together native women from 14 pastoral counties, stakeholders asked county assemblies to ensure women are involved in policy formulation and decision making process.
Samburu Women Trust Executive Director Ms Jane Meriwas said women had a huge role to play in the protection of unregistered community land and other community resources.
“Counties should undertake civic education on land issues to ensure residents are well informed about their rights and women be allowed to share their views during public participation forums on land matters,” she said
Stakeholders at the conference said there were a lot of insights women could provide with regard to land issues.
“They should be allowed to share their views, take part in land decisions and own land just like men,” said Ms Christine Namuyak.
various speakers at the event lamented that local land committees had no women representation and demanded adequate their involvement in solving land disputes and protecting the resource.
“Women should also be involved in land agreements so that men do not sell land without our consent and that of the children,” said Ms Nuria Gollo from Marsabit.
The county Assemblies, she said, must formulate pastoralist-tailored policies in efforts to deal with perennial land disputes.
Stakeholders also appealed to the counties to register community land to protect it from grabbers and allow development of the properties.
“Most of the policies are not beneficial and we now need to formulate specific ones that match the pastoralist lifestyle which I believe will help in coming up with proper framework to protect the community land,” Ms Namuyak added.
The NGO boss said state agencies and counties should give women legal recognition and adequately involve them in promoting development for improved livelihoods.
The recognition should be done with due respect to customs, traditions and land tenure system of the indigenous people and ensure they are consulted by counties before any development that affects their land use is done.