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Empowering Women through Land Sensitization in Kisumu County

By Treezer Michelle Atieno

Land ownership in Kisumu County, as in many regions, has long been entrenched in cultural and legal frameworks that disadvantage women. Despite constitutional provisions guaranteeing equal rights to land, societal norms and practices often undermine these rights, particularly for women. The complexities of land governance and administration exacerbate this issue, perpetuating inequality and hindering women’s access to and ownership of land.

In response to these challenges, Kisumu County has embarked on an initiative to address land ownership disparities. With support from the FAO-led Digital Land Governance Programme (DLGP), the county has launched a series of land sensitization sessions across Kisumu West, Kisumu East, and Kisumu Central Sub Counties. Led by key stakeholders and government officials, these sessions aim to raise awareness about land rights, legal frameworks, and sustainable land use practices among local communities.

The DLGP, operating within a five-year term from 2022 to 2027, seeks to enhance efficient and effective land governance through digitization of land records and processes. By improving conflict resolution mechanisms and formulating inclusive policy frameworks, the programme aims to empower marginalized groups, including women, in accessing and owning land.

During a recent session held at Kisian Hall in Kisumu West Sub County, Mr. Victor Kinyaura, Chief Officer for Lands, emphasized the importance of land tenure security, particularly for women. He highlighted Governor Nyong’o’s commitment to ensuring land rights for all citizens, underscoring the link between secure land tenure and economic empowerment.

The land clinic exercises provide a vital platform for citizens to engage with government officials and address key bottlenecks in land governance. By eliminating exploitation by brokers and bridging knowledge gaps, these sessions empower communities to advocate for their land rights and participate in decision-making processes.

Crucially, the involvement of local leaders, such as Sub County Administrators and area Chiefs, underscores the grassroots approach of the initiative. Recognizing the centrality of land to livelihoods, these leaders play a pivotal role in disseminating accurate information and facilitating dialogue on land issues within their communities.

The success of the land sensitization initiative hinges on the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders, including government officials, technical specialists, and community leaders. By fostering a culture of transparency, accountability, and inclusivity, Kisumu County is paving the way for transformative change in land governance and women’s empowerment.

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