Kisii County woman representative Janet Ong’era has indicated that women in Gusii region are still facing open discrimination in land ownership due to cultural barriers and domestic violence.
Speaking at Riondong’a Primary during the celebration to mark the International Women’s Day, the legislature said that women’s right to own, inherit and manage property especially within Gusii hasn’t been fully realized.
“So far we can not equate the distribution of land to reflect the progress made in gender equality and social justice within our community”, Ms Ongera said.
She pleaded to the relevant government agencies to investigate and inform future policy formulation on how the trend can be averted
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Land ownership has been a sensitive issue in Kenya since pre-independence times, with most communities only allowing men to own land.
According to Ms Ongera, family conflicts should be solved without dragging and disfranchising the girl-child in families where no boy child was born.
She has however called on relevant authorities to protect such women from in laws who forcefully take their property
“ Let us not keep silent on some cultural practices that disenfranchise women from inheriting their fathers’ property in case a man was not born in a family. All of us have equal rights”, she asserted
Most of the backlog cases in Kisii Law court involve land issues with majority facing widows as they seek justice to fight back their lands.
However she asked women to form Saccos so that they can benefit from National Government Funds, as she challenged banks to reduce interest rate in order for women to access loans .
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“Women if given chance can transform the society through their hard work,”she said.
According to Kenyenya Assistant county commissioner David Mbevi domestic violence is still recorded in the region.
“Per month three cases must be reported,”Mbevi said.
Early this year three women were chopped off their hands due to family wrangles.
Globally, women are accorded only three-quarters of the legal rights that men enjoy according to a new index released by the World Bank today, constraining their ability to get jobs or start businesses and make economic decisions that are best for them and their families.