Gambian women launch demand for land share from family inheritance

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: A woman from Niamina Demba Kunda in Central River Region (CRR), who spoke on behalf of Gambian women at the celebration of the 2019 World Food Day at West Coast Region governor’s office in Brikama on Wednesday, has conveyed a strong demand from the country’s women to have fair share of land from their family inheritance.
Jewo Jallow said, “We want the government to include this in the constitution that will give us the women to have access to portion of share from lands that belong to our fathers.”
The global action plan to achieve the eight anti-poverty goals by the year 2015 have now become a mirage in The Gambia in the face of unprecedented takeover of arable land across the country by rich investors and businessmen for estate agencies and agricultural production.
The plain-speaking Mrs Jallow said there is no space for confrontation about their demand, saying women participation and contribution to the welfare and development of their families is a clear fact in The Gambia. “This should be done maturely and not with heart or confrontation.”
Gambia has a customary land tenure system where the man takes larger part of the land than the women. Women right to own land inherited from their fathers is not an equal share practice but it occurs. There is no established percentage of number of women who have access to their own lands from inheritance but male members maintain more share than female.
In what is now dubbed ‘land rush,’ in the country, the systematic takeovers are posing serious threat to major new commitments for women and children rights to own lands from family inheritance and other initiatives against hunger and disease.
“If the entire family farm is taken without the women having any, how do you expect them to survive?” Mrs Jallow said, asking male counterparts to start considering to provide to women what belong to them directly and not through a third party because must of the women are not educated.
“If you don’t get from what belong to your father then where will you get it from? Whatever women are running for today, they are doing it for their families.”

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