Women's land rights in Northern Uganda

Zawadi Esther harvesting cassava on her farm in Tiapi village, Ayavu Parish. The mother of five children supports her family with farming.
Paper author: 
Christopher Burke
Paper publication date: 
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Land is a very vital resource in production, to be able to grow more food in order to improve nutrition and raise incomes; women need equal access to land and production services.   Whereas women carry out the bulk of agricultural production, they cannot freely use the produce they obtain but have to ask for permission from their husbands since they do not own the land. Such disagreements over the use of financial resources most often lead to family tensions and domestic violence as men re-assert their authority within the households.

Inequalities in access and control not only reduce women’s economic independence and capacity to act and take decisions, but also increases their vulnerability to violence.

Oxfam released a new report examining the security of women’s land and property rights across northern Uganda. Independent consultants were engaged to implement a relatively large qualitative and quantitative analysis of land tenure in the region. While several key findings related to ownership and access contradict many widely held perceptions associated with women and land, the report presents an objective insight into women’s land tenure and provides a sound basis for meaningful interventions aimed at improving the gender equitably of land tenure in northern Uganda.