With support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency, UN Women is empowering women in the Ikungi district of Tanzania through its “Realizing Gender Equality through Empowering Women and Adolescent Girls” program. The program, which trains land governance institutions and communities on women’s right to own land, has resulted in a three-fold increase in the proportion of land ownership certificates issued to women. With joint ownership of land, women farmers have increased decision-making power, access to loans, and decreased instances of land disputes and land grabbing.
Zainab Hamis Hussein is a farmer in the semi-arid district of Ikungi, Singida, in central Tanzania. She recently acquired joint ownership of her family’s land through a land certificate program supported by UN Women. In Tanzania, despite women providing much of the labor for household agricultural production, their control over land use is limited. According to the Tanzanian National Bureau of Statistics, only 9% of women have sole ownership of land, compared to 30% of men.
UN Women supported the Ikungi District Council to issue Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCRO) to women’s sole or joint land ownership as part of the “Realizing Gender Equality through Empowering Women and Adolescent Girls” program, funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency. The program equipped the district with digital land management systems and IT infrastructure and trained land governance institutions and communities on women’s land rights and the benefits of joint land ownership.
As a result of these efforts, the proportion of CCROs issued to women increased three-fold, from 14% to 41%. Zainab and many other women in the district have since experienced the benefits of joint ownership of their land, including increased decision-making power, access to loans, and higher yields through climate-resilient seeds and fertilizers. The program also provided women farmers with financial and entrepreneurship training and linked them with agro-dealers.
The incidence of land disputes and land grabbing, which previously threatened widows, has also decreased, with land dispute cases dropping from 40 per year to five. Women like Zainab have become more independent and empowered through the program, using their land as collateral to access financial loan services and plan for agricultural inputs.
Image provided by Pepe Caspers