In Kenya’s changing climate, women are claiming land rights to feed their families

News

By Sophie Mbugua

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Owning land is key to helping women cope with the impacts of climate change, such as drought, and enables them to feed their families. 

In Kenya, Article 40 of the constitution guarantees a right to property for all. The Land Act, revised in 2016, requires spousal consent to sell land. The 2013 matrimonial property act allows women to register alongside their husbands for property acquired during marriage. The 2016 Community Land Act states that boys and girls above 18 years have a right to vote on community land decisions.

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It is difficult to enforce land ownership policies as rural women and community influencers are rarely included in drafting them, according to Evelyne Batamuliza, executive member of the African Development Bank Group’s Adaptation Benefits Mechanism.

“We move so fast in terms of making these laws but sometimes the people who these laws are made for do not know they exist as they never got a chance to participate,” Batamuliza tells Climate Home News, adding that land rights remains “a conversation among the elite in cities”.

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