DISSEMINATION OF THE WOMEN TO KILIMANJARO CHARTER OF DEMANDS
The year 2016 marked the climax for rural women mobilization towards realization of their land rights and opened wider discussions on rural women land agenda. The Africa-wide mobilization culminated into the Women to Kilimanjaro initiative where women congregated at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro to present their charter of demands to their leaders to symbolically show the hurdles women go through in pursuit of their land rights. The women land rights charter of demands was developed through a highly participatory process which led to major steps in empowering women and making their voices heard in key decision making spaces.
The Ministry of Lands has promised to ensure that the demands as spelt out by the women are implemented inorder for women to realize their rights to land. It is for this reason that a workshop has been organized to further disseminate and guide women to further internalize the contents therein in the Rural Womens’ Charter of Demands. In addition to this, the provisions in the Community land act presents an opportunity for women to further engage policy makers by analyzing the existing policies and laws to inform the implementation of the Rural Womens’ Land Rights Charter.
The dissemination workshop brought together women drawn from seven counties in Western Kenya that included Siaya, Homabay. Migori, W. Pokot, Kakamega, Kisumu and Baringo. The envisaged outcome of the dissemination of the charter of demands is to ensure that the rural women realize their land rights by way of further internalizing the contents of the charter for further engagement with the relevant leaders.
During the experience sharing sessions, it was presented that as result of the push by the women, the County Land Management Board in Kakamega made a deliberate effort to ensure that there is women representation in the board and they have 3 women out of the 7 board members. In Migori, it was also reported that there is an opportunity for widowed and poor women are able to get the process of succession done at a subsidized rate and at the point of getting the title deed after going through the process it can be issued free of charge. However for one to qualify for this, it requires rigorous vetting to ascertain that the said women is in no way able to foot the bill of getting a title deed.
After the meeting, the women present agree to be involved in the post Kilimanajro where they will be key in getting involved in coordinated actions and mechanisms of accountability of all actors at all levels that fastrack the realization of women land rights.
The dissemination of the Kilimanjaro women land rights coincided with the marking of the African Liberation Day on 25th of May which was used to launch #AfricansRising movement with events and actions all across the African continent to rallying together as one Africa, to build peace, seek justice and manifest our dignity. The women drawn from the seven counties marked the day by reciting solidarity messages and posting on face book photos while holding photos showing #AfricansRising.
The women reiterated their support for Africans Rising because it resonates with their demand for their land rights.