Women’s Land and Home in Africa
Despite constraints of the pandemic, phase two of HLRN’s Assessing Impacts of Women’s Dispossession from Land and Home project is well underway. Literature reviews have been developed on women, land and home in both Zimbabwe and Zambia, and HIC Members partners in both countries have now held initial normative training workshops. The Zimbabwe People’s Land Rights Movement hosted the normative workshop in Harare from 27 to 29 August 2020, with participants in Zimbabwe gathered (masked and physically distanced) in-person in Harare, while HIC-HLRN partners joined via Zoom from Cairo, Toronto, Nairobi, Entebbe, and Lusaka.
In a similar ‘hybrid’ in-person and virtual format, the Civic Forums for Habitat and Housing – Zambia organized the normative workshop with HLRN from 30 September to 2 October 2020 in Lusaka. In addition to the comprehensive learning events on human rights-based advocacy at the international and regional levels, the workshops also engaged participants in deep discussions with local experts, affected communities and civil society organizations, and each workshop compiled a selection and typology of relevant cases to examine during the project.
Partners in both countries are now in the final stages of subjecting the typology of cases to a process of triage, selecting the main case with the greatest potential for strategic impact in each country on which to conduct a thorough quantitative analysis using HLRN’s Violation Impact-assessment Tool (VIAT). The technical workshop for Zimbabwe, held in a mixed format on 7–8 December 2020, has produced the locally appropriate and genderized VIAT for application to both an illustrative and advanced case subject to litigation, as well as a case involving women-heading households in a community facing evictions and dispossession. The technical workshop takes project participants through in-depth exercise how to conduct quantitative research on the selected cases of land and housing rights violations especially affecting women by using the VIAT methodology and critically genderizing the tool for the purposes of the project and further applications assessing the losses, costs and damage undergone by women in similar circumstances.
In the meantime, work continues on the project in Kenya and Uganda. HIC-HLRN partners in Kenya, Mazingira Institute and Pamoja Trust, finalized two reports coming out of the action research activities carried out during phase one of the Women’s Land and Home project: Incidents of Infrastructure Development That Dispossess and Displace People: Baseline Assessment of Women’s Wealth, Wellbeing and Habitat and a supplemental report on Customary Practices That Dispossess and Displace Women from Their Habitats.
In Uganda, partner organization Shelter and Settlements Alternative: Uganda Human Settlements Network (SSA: UHSNET) also has finalized a report on the in-depth assessment carried out in phase one, The Case of Makusa and Lwamunyu Fishing Communities in Mayanzi, Kigungu, Entebbe Municipality, Uganda Violation Impact Assessment of Assets and Potential Losses. SSA: UHSNET continues with advocacy efforts to ensure that the Makusa community at the center of the report is properly settled and compensated. Going forward, SSA: UHSNET will use their HLRN training experience and materials on the applicable norms and the use and application of the VIAT to conduct in-depth research into informal and customary practices impacting women’s rights to land and home in the Gulu region of Northern Uganda. Additionally, they will address yet another case of pending dispossession in Kasoli caused by construction of a planned Standard Gauge Railway, by preparing a policy paper on the affected community’s entitlement to reparation to be submitted to government.
All completed documents and training materials of phase one and two of the Women’s Land and Home project in India, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe can be found here.
Download the two new reports from Mazingira Institute and Pamoja Trust:
Incidents of Infrastructure Development That Dispossess and Displace People: Baseline Assessment of Women’s Wealth, Wellbeing and Habitat and
Customary Practices That Dispossess and Displace Women from Their Habitats
Download the report from Shelter and Settlements Alternative: Uganda Human Settlements Network (SSA: UHSNET):
The Case of Makusa and Lwamunyu Fishing Communities in Mayanzi, Kigungu, Entebbe Municipality, Uganda Violation Impact Assessment of Assets and Potential Losses
Photo: Covers of the two reports produced in Kenya. Source: HLRN.