ForumCiv Liberia host 3rd Rural Women Land Rights Conference
In 2018 Liberia signed a new land law which protects the rights of women and customary communities. Just like many parts of Africa in Liberia land ownership governance and management has been dominated by men and by traditional beliefs which disenfranchises females.
ForumCiv in 2020 created a flagship event dubbed Rural Women Land Rights Conference (RWLRC). The RWLRC serves as the sole national platform for rural women and actors who have relevance to the land sector to reflect on the gains challenges and prospect for ensuring the land rights of rural women since the new law was passed in 2018. Delegates at the 2020 and the 2021 conferences developed separate resolution which have been presented to the President of Liberia.
These resolutions request the Government of Liberia and her partners to increase budgetary support to the Liberia Land Authority (LLA). This would strengthen the capacities of the LLA and ensure rural women have increased access to support and to services that would actualize the fulfilment of their rights of their rights which are outlined in the 2018 Land Rights Act.
Unlike previous conferences, this edition was more technical and meant to craft plans and strategies to enhance advocacy for the implementation of resolution of past conferences. This event was co-convened with the Multi-Actor Platform on Land Governance and Responsible Agricultural Investment in Liberia in collaboration with other actors within the land sector. MAP Liberia Platform is a ’Strategic Partners’ under our new grant portfolio from Sida.
Several other major actors for land reform in Liberia who are funded by various donors such as the European Union United States Agency for international Development World Bank etc. also participated in the planning processes and sponsored delegates from the respective projects to attend the conference.
The conference resulted in commitments from participating organizations and some of the stakeholders. The Deputy Minister for Research and Planning at the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP) Hon. Hassan Kanneh requested the convenors of the conference to share the Advocacy Plan and Strategy with his ministry to enable the MOGCSP incorporate elements into the new Gender Strategy which is been developed to replace the current one which expires this year.
Hon. Rosanna Shaack of River Cess County who is the Chair, Committee on Gender Equity, Child Development and Social Services at the House of Representatives and who served as the keynote speaker said: ’’women land rights are human rights, and my office will support advocacy initiatives that would be undertaken to ensure the land rights of rural women’’.
For her part, Loretta Pope-Kai the chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia also called for robust action for laws that safeguard and promote the rights of women and marginalized communities ‘’ The 2018 Local Government Act and the Land Rights Act provide relevant frameworks for the voices of rural women to be heard. And we at the National Civil Society Council of Liberia will continue to push for the implementation of these laws''
There are no longer any arguments about women's land rights, this is already established by the law. After four years of the existence of the law, women must now begin to make demands on duty-bearers.
Mr. James Yarsiah Executive Director Rice and Rights Foundation and Head Multi-Actor Platform Liberia speaking at 3rd Rural Women Land Rights Conference
The conference brought together over seventy participants, and it was held in Buchanan Grand from 31st October to 1st November 2022.
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