OXFAM backs women land ownership right in Nigeria

OxfamAs momentum builds for women in the West African region to jointly speak up for their ownership rights to landed property, OXFAM Nigeria has called for land reform in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, an event around public mobilization and sensitization to garner support for women land rights and inheritance will held next month. Also, there will an engagement with decision-makers and other relevant stakeholders to build a strong base for support towards the actual climax of land right campaign in Nigeria.

The event is another opportunity to stress on the crucial role of women to achieve sustainable development goals, and specifically for the GROW campaign focusing on the two first ones, on poverty alleviation and Zero Hunger.

According to experts, women represent more than 60 per cent of the agricultural labor in sub-Saharan Africa. They account for 60 to 80per cent of food production on the continent. They make up almost half of the agricultural labor force and are involved in 80 to 90% in food processing, storage and transportation as well as hoeing and weeding.

Despite this significant contribution, only 15% of women farmers own their farm, whereas women herders who manage almost alone milk production and play an increased role in small ruminants breeding and poultry farming, do not know at all or have very little knowledge on how to secured protection of breeding pasture.

While rural women are a powerful driver for agricultural development, their potential is still hampered by the disparities between men and women, as far as land ownership is concerned, the firm added.

According to OXFAM’s Head of Programmes in Nigeria, Constant Tchona, in West Africa, From Nigeria to Mauritania through Ghana, Togo, Benin, Mali, Burkina Faso or Senegal, rural women still faces three major challenges: equity in access to land, safety of operating and investment by women and the protection and preservation of women’s land rights.

Furthermore, the firm, which crusades women ownership rights to land said that, women lack adequate and secure access to land.

“They are the first victims of land and related natural resources grabbing, all this together seriously threatens the capacity communities to meet the whole challenges of sustainable agricultural and food systems today and tomorrow. Thus not allowing the world to feed itself with healthy and high-quality food and nutritional diversity, and also to contribute to poverty eradication. Also to the preservation of biodiversity and natural resources, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate change in a world with limited natural resources.

“Women are not only limited to play major roles in cash crops, staple food production, processing or marketing. As holders of local and traditional knowledge in farm seed conservation and natural resources management, they also play a critical role in the transmission of traditional knowledge to future generations. For all these reasons, women should be leaders in the transition to sustainable agricultural and food systems”, explains Constant Tchona, Head of Programmes of Oxfam in Nigeria.

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