West African women call for land justice
On the occasion of the International Rural Women’s Day on 15 October, held at Mount Kilimanjaro, a group of civil society organisations supported the calls of West African women for land justice. In this plea, the signatories are protesting against the fact that rural women in sub-Saharan Africa, who form the continent’s main agricultural labour force, only own an average of 15% of the land that they cultivate. This situation, which reflects the inequity of land rights between men and women, is an obstacle to the eradication of poverty and hunger on the continent. Now that the Sustainable Development Goals are making gender equality a priority, the rights of women to have access to land and productive resources should be enhanced. The call formalises these claims in the form of a petition to be sent to heads of the main governmental organisations in West Africa in order to advocate for women’s land rights. These organisations will be asked to make every effort to ensure that the control of land and the income derived from the land are shared equitably between women and men. It also advocates for changes to women’s rights to inherit and bequeath land.