Saturday, July 11, 2015

RRI Pushes For Equal Land Ownership For Men, Women

Yaounde,Cameroon—The Cameroon coalition of the international advocacy organization, Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) has called on the Cameroon government to consider the rights and interests of local communities, indigenous Peoples and women in the country’s ongoing land reform process.
The coalition handed over its proposals to the government at a workshop to that effect in Yaounde on Wednesday July 8.
Participants at the worksho (credit RRI)
The position document, handed over to government focuses on collective tenure rights and calls for recognizing and securing the rights of Cameroon’s indigenous peoples. It also emphasizes the importance of recognizing the village as a legal entity and establishing collective property rights, and calls for equal land access for women.
According to Mary Nyuyinwi, RRI facilitator for Central Africa and Liberia, the coalition has been involved with the land reform process in Cameroon ever since president Biya announced the reforms at the Ebolowa agro pastoral show in 2011.
“Since then, the Coalition has met with various stakeholders to ensure their interests are taken into account and conducted targeted advocacy to promote the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as women and other vulnerable groups in the country, in the land law”.
The 1974 land tenure legislation according to the coalition does not different differentiate urban from rural land. More so, the law does not give women and other vulnerable groups in Cameroon the right to own land.
The coalition has proposed amongst others that married women should jointly own land with their husbands and the recognition of the validity of local customs and the role of local institutions, within the limits of each village’s collective property.
The workshop brought together members of the civil society, non-governmental organizations and the administration.
 The inspector general in the Ministry of State Property, Surveys, and Land Tenure lauded the coalition’s initiative promising the government will consider the proposals.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

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