Serving The Rural People

Despite Gains, Women Face Setbacks in Legal Rights

2 min read
Land ownership has been a sensitive issue in Kenya since pre-independence times, with most communities only allowing men to own land.

Kisii county women representative Janet ongera dances with women during international women day which was celebrated at Riokindo in Bomachoge Borabu. (Photo by Brighton makori )

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

Land ownership has been a sensitive issue in Kenya since pre-independence times, with most communities only allowing men to own land.

Land inheritance

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 .

“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. 

March 2020
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