After a very long incubation period, it’s hard to believe that we are 12 months into the Women’s Spaces: Implementing Equal Access to Land, Housing and Livelihoods Project. With support from many of you and our major co-funder, Global Affairs Canada, project activities are ramping up. We are happy to report on a few recent events.
Women from informal settlements in Kwa-Zulu Natal discussing critical issues they face in securing land rights
In South Africa, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) held consultative meetings in Durban with women living in informal settlements in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province. They worked with their long-standing partner, Abahlali baseMjondolo – a major social movement. Consultations focused on the gender specific challenges women face in informal settlements including access to livelihood opportunities and basic services, public participation and security of tenure. The next steps will be to implement community dialogues and training, and support advocacy platforms to secure government responses to the issues raised.
Mazingira Institute, our partner in Kenya, is focused on advancing gender-equal access to land and resources for urban agriculture. Together with the Food and Agriculture Sector of the Nairobi City County (NCC), it recently trained extension officers from 17 of the NCC sub-counties on gender, urban agriculture and food systems. This was a critical step to engage NCC officials as allies to help ensure equal participation of women through improved outreach and public education.
Nairobi City County (NCC) extension officers participated in training on gender, urban agriculture and food system with Davinder Lamba, Mazingira Institute, and Patrick Muiruri, NCC Food and Agriculture Sector Directorate (front row 4th and 5th from left)
Last November, Shelter and Settlements Alternatives, our implementing partner in Uganda, conducted a 5-day paralegal training workshop for 15 community members, mostly women, in Entebbe Municipality. Along with 18 previous trainees in Kamuli Municipalty, these volunteer paralegals are starting to help women access basic legal services pertaining to land and housing rights violations. They will also work closely with men and boys, cultural and religious leaders, and Village Health Teams on gender sensitization, and promotion of gender equal land rights.
15 community members trained as paralegal volunteers in Entebbe, Uganda, November 2022
In Angola, project partner Development Workshop, has carried out workshops on the relationship between gender equal rights to land and the global Sustainable Development Goals. These are building understanding and networks that will help promote gender equality as the Women’s Space project moves forward.
Chicala Cholohanga, Angola: Workshop on gender equal rights to land and the global Sustainable Development Goals