(Lusaka Times)-A civil society organisation called Save the Environment People’s Agency (SEPA) has bemoaned the fewer numbers of women who own land in the country.
SEPA Chief Executive Officer Mailes Muke said there is urgent need to enhance access to land among women.
Ms. Muke said more women must stand up and demand that their rights when it comes to land ownership and land rights are respected.
She said in many societies, women are discriminated against when it comes to using, purchasing, inheriting and leveraging lands, adding that this has caused many women to continue living in poverty.
Ms. Muke said increased access to land among women is key to poverty alleviation and national development.
“As you are aware, in Zambian women contribute over 70% to food production. But most of our women have continued to be discriminated against in many ways including purchasing, inheritance and leveraging land as a productive asset which has a spillover effect in food security,” she said.
“We want to educate our women more especially in acquisitions of land and also empower them on land rights and on Environment activities,” Ms. Muke said.
Ms. Muke said land is an asset which every Zambian including women must own, however cautioned people to utilise the land well bearing in mind the climate effect.
“In today’s world, everyone is rushing for land and extracted resources hastened by the growing impact of climate change and in the end its women who are at the centre of human rights violation worldwide regarding their rights and access to land.
SEPA has since organised training for women in Zambezi District of the North Western Province to sensitize them on land rights and land ownership.
The workshop was held under the theme: “Women land rights, Environment and advocacy in Extractive industry for women inclusive”, with the aim of ensuring that women are aware of their land rights.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Catherine Khuku commended SEPA for inviting women, saying that the information shared was cardinal to the development of women in society more especially in women acquisitions of land and poverty alleviation.
Ms. Khuku further appealed to men to allow women or wives to acquire land in order to fully realise their potential.
“We really needed this information as women in the district because most of the time we are denied rights when it comes to land acquisitions, inheritance of land, and also knowledge on land rights which I would say was a great opportunity for us to know,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ms. Muke has cautioned parents in Zambezi District against allowing child labour as mines expand in the North Western Province.
“Child safeguarding should be top priority in our society even when it comes to mining. Let us not abuse our children by involving them in hard labour,” she said.