Women and Girls Awareness on their Land Rights - Woman learning rights in class.

CHIDA Young Women Paralegals – Nyololo – Women and Girls awareness on their Land Rights

The specific issue was to address the deep rooted patriarchal norms which strongly oppose women owning land Contrary to the Tanzanian Constitution and laws governing Tanzanian land. Worse still the women themselves in the project area were not aware of such rights. The main activity of the project funded by TPP in 2018, was to raise awareness on women’s rights to own, use and control land. To accomplish the task, we trained 25 young women as Paralegals who were empowered with knowledge and skills on land legal issues. Upon completion of the training, in collaboration with district land official, they used their legal knowledge and skills to educate and raise rural community’s awareness on women’s land and property rights as well as the consequences of bad norms which limit women’s advancement. IEC Materials were disseminated while edutainment and community rallies were organized for the same purposes. Among the major achievements resulting from this project includes, Most rural women in project area are aware of their land rights and how to demand them; Community members particularly men (Change agents) are aware of women’s rights to own and use land and they are sturdily shunning from bad norms; the number of land conflicts in the area have declined due to quality legal aid services being provided by paralegals; Community members in the project area have built a trust to paralegals after successful legal aid and awareness raising through various village meetings they continue to organize

This work is important to me and the most important thing that I want people to and not only to know about this issue and our work, but to support our endless efforts of fighting women’s land rights because Women’s land rights are also human rights themselves. It is insupportable to see our mothers and sisters continue to be deprived of their fundamental human rights because of the malicious and unjust patriarchal norms governing their daily lives. Women with insecure land rights are more vulnerable to poverty, ill-health, food shortages, and without opportunities to develop their livelihoods. Rural women are frequently limited to traditional gender roles and accept customs and attitudes that discriminate against them because they have been educated to do so by their customs and this is improper. These practice reduces women’s autonomy and voice and affects their self-esteem and their well-being. Therefore the most important thing is to see more strengthened and secured women’s land rights thus enabling women to have control over their land and exerting their influence in the society. This will improve gender equality and increase women’s self-esteem and confidence consequently becoming more involved in decision making at house hold and community levels.

The initial seed grant from TPP was important to my work because it helped me accomplish the project’s initial desired goal. The initial seed grant has improved and simplified the legal Aid service provision to the community as the services are now provided directly in the villages through TPP trained paralegals. The community members particularly women can now access legal Aid services that are directly linked to Legal Aid service providers (Pro Bono) which earlier was impossible. It is the initial TPP seed grant which has enabled our project to work collaboratively with the local village governments and ward land committees which earlier was impossible. It is the initial seed grant from TPP which has laid the foundation for the establishment of the Young Women Paralegals group who are currently doing a wonderful job in the community serving the needy with legal aid services, educating and raising community’s awareness on women’s fundamental human rights. It is this seed grant from TPP which has paved the way for the TPP impact grant which we believe its impact will be evident as it will be using the experiences and good practices gained during the implementation of the just ended first segment of the project.

Receiving this larger follow up award will obvious allow the project to continue developing and growing in the sense of scale-up. It will deepen the understanding of men on the consequences of exercising the patriarchal norms against women and girls. Moreover the TPP impact grant will help to strengthen and secure women’s land rights within the projects’ area thus enabling women to have total control over their land as enshrined in the Tanzanian constitution. Through this TPP impact grant will help the women to become more visible and firmly exerting their influences in the society. This progress will improve the gender equality thus increasing women’s self-esteem and confidence consequently being more involved in decision making at household and community levels.

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