Govt urges chiefs to empower women

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–Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo has called on traditional leaders to ensure that women have equal access to land in their chiefdoms.

Profesor Luo said traditional leaders who are the custodians of land in their respective chiefdom should ensure that women have a fair share of land administration  and ownership as they are the custodians of food security in communities.

She said this when she officially opened a conference for  Southern African Traditional Leaders on land administration and land rights for women which has drawn participants from four countries in the region.

Prof. Luo said the conference has come at a better time when the region is facing high levels of demand for land investors.

She it was therefore important that traditional leaders have a key role to play in safeguarding the land rights for women who lack control over the natural resource.

She observed that traditional leaders are strategically placed to ensure that they safe guard women’s access to ownership and control over land since they are the custodians of customary land administration.

Prof. Luo urged the chiefs from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi to should ensure that the equal access to land by both women and men which is secured through community land certification becomes a reality in their chiefdoms.

And speaking earlier, We Effect Regional Director, Karin Alfredsson, said there is need to promote land rights for women.

Ms Alfredsson said women have little access to land despite them being the ones who  engage more in agricultural activities.

She said most women are disadvantaged regarding ownership of land hence they need to be empowered through equal access saying this will increase agricultural production especially in rural areas where people depend on the sector as their main source of livehood.

And Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II said it was unfortunate that most chiefdoms are under the leadership of men.

Chieftainess Nkomeshya who is also the chairperson of the House of Chiefs said the situation contributes to the lack of  access and control of land by women hence the problem should be dealt with  to enable them own land.

She said there is need to find ways through the traditional system of sorting out issues that hinder women from having access and control over land.

Chieftainess Nkomeshya also called on government to change some legal instruments on land issues to suit with the current prevailing environment.

The conference which has been organised by Women for Change and We Effect has drawn participants from Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique including chiefs and Chieftainesses from the four countries.