Women stake their own claim to land, Africa Woman

Date: January 1, 1970
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Women in Zambia want to ensure that their right to own land is enshrined in the country?s constitution.

This article may be used to:

  •  Women’s right to land and policies being developed to guarantee this right.
  • The importance of women speaking for themselves.

Trainer’s notes

The article on women’s rights to own land is highlighted in this article. The article is gender aware. It provides information on:

  •  Why women need to own land?
  •  How customary law impacts on their right to won land?
  •  Identifies some of the challenges facing women in acquiring land.
  •  It provides the views of experts, gender activists and community workers.

The headline is a strong, active statement that complements the story.

A major limitation of the story is the absence of women’s voices. There are no interviews with women who currently work on the land and ‘control’ land. The story therefore is a clinical piece about the issue of women’s ownership of land without a human face. The image accompanying the story shows a woman working the land but her voice is not in the story.
Data about the number of women who are currently ‘controlling’ land is missing from the story. Men’s views on customary law are included in the story while women’s views on the matter are not included.
Training exercises

Exercise one: Read the case study and discuss the following in a group:

  1. Why do women need the right to own land?
  2. How are these reasons illustrated in the case study?
  3. What voices are missing from the story?
  4. What information is missing from the story?

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