Land a pipedream for women

Home National Land a pipedream for women

WINDHOEK – Although Resolution 17 of the first national land conference of 1991 stipulated that women should have the right to own land and the right to inherit it, to date only 23 percent of them own commercial land.

In terms of communal land, women only own 28 percent of it, a presentation by the Ministry of Land Reform at the ongoing second national land conference showed.

Land reform and resettlement director in the ministry, Peter Nangolo, further told delegates that women own 41 percent of resettlement farms against 59 owned by men.

He said 69.6 million hectares of agricultural land were distributed, with 52 percent (36.2 million hectares) freehold land/commercial land, occupied by some 4200 predominantly white farming households, while 48 percent (33.4 million hectares) are deemed communal or non-freehold land. 

About 15 percent (12,7 million hectares) constituted national parks, forests, mining areas, agricultural research stations and conservancies.

Nangolo pointed out challenges facing the realisation of women land ownership and inheritance. 
One challenge is of instances of land encroachment decision, which disadvantages some women.
Nangolo also blamed the slow pace of women to own land on discriminatory laws that did not allow women to own land.
Resolution 17 formed part of the 24 consensus resolutions of the 1991 national land conference which were grouped under communal and commercial land.

During the first national land conference, government resolved to reverse the imbalances of women ownership in terms of land and inheritance.

At independence in 1990, Namibia inherited a skewed land distribution which necessitated the national consultation in 1990 that birthed the first national conference on Land Reform and the Land Question held on 25 June to 1 July 1991.