The State Minister for Lands Persis Namuganza has said women who are taken as less educated can protect family land than women whom many see as informed and educated.
In Uganda, land disputes are a serious issue countrywide and in most causes they have led to family and domestic violence, assaults and murder.
In most of the land disputes cited all over the country, women and children are the most affected ones. In most cases, these are widows and orphans who at times fail to defend the property of their dead husbands/fathers.
As a way of ensuring that women’s land rights are protected, government has come up with a number of solutions such as the Certificate of Customary Ownership which gives women ownership on the land. This has helped women in rural areas especially those with little or no education background to have land rights. And in districts where this programme has been conducted, land disputes have declined from 59 percent to 8 percent.
However speaking during the launch of a report by Oxfam on Certificate of Customary Ownership on Wednesday in Kampala, Minister Namuganza said informed and educated women have failed to protect their family land compared to their less educated counterparts.
“We should also cover the challenges when land gets into the hands of women who are empowered because I have witnessed this the first thing they think about is selling the land when they lose husbands. Many people think that women who are not educated need much sensitization about their land rights but women who are educated are more dangerous when it comes to this family lands,”the Minister said.
“I have seen women in my office, whose husbands are dead. And when they gets the titles they don’t want to know anybody else,” she said.
Namuganza added that with educated women, when it comes to selling their husbands’ property they don’t even consider their children.
“One woman told me ‘let me tell you, honourable minister the children must get their land, this is ours, me and my husband, this is my sweat.’ I had to ask the children whether she was their biological mother and they told me she was. This is becoming serious. And sometimes they even sell in connivance with their new boyfriends. Such women even listen much more to their new boyfriends than even their biological children or the family members to the deceased husband.”
To curb this escalating vice, the minister asked civil societies and Non-governmental organizations to also do a study in such areas.
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