Global Land Forum 2018: The countdown begins

GLF

An opportunity for global exchange on land issues:

With people and organisations representing more that 60 participating countries, the Global Land Forum is one of a kind global platform to hear and to be heard. It os one of the largest land forums in the world.

Indonesia has been granted the opportunity to host the Global Land Forum (GLF), which to be organized during 24-26 September 2018 in Bandung.

 

Expected to be inaugurated by President Joko Widodo, and be attended by ministers from ILC member countries; Asia, Central Europe, Africa and Latin America, civil society organizations, UN agencies, government agencies, academics and community organizations, GLF 2018 is going to be an opportunity of a life time.

The National Organising Committee (NOC) was esatablished to be the key organiser of the event. The NOC is comprised of 16 community based organizations and civil society organizations as the members.

Some of the Ministries and Institutions that commit to participate are the Executive Office of the President (KSP), the Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial/National Land Agency (ATR/BPN), the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Ministry (Kemendesa) and Provincial Government of West Java.

Why Bandung ?

Bandung in Indonesia was selected as the venue for the GLF 2018 to recall the history of independence struggle of Asia and Africa nations against colonialism. In 1955, the first Asian-African Conference was held in Bandung.

Themes and Issues for Discussion

Keeping the context of the land rights struggle in the participating countries, the issues are summarized under the following four major themes for the GLF 2018:

1) effective action against land grabbing;

2) revisiting genuine agrarian reform answering global development challenges;

3) ensuring food sovereignty; and

4) women’s and invisible groups struggle on land related-issues.

Women’s land rights as a centralised theme:

GLF 2018 recognises the importance of Women’s Land Rights movement in the context of global movement and has thus considered the issue as one of the main pillars of thematic thrust. The forum is thus a great platform to learn, understand and put forward local issues surrounding women’s land rights.

Hear and Be Heard. Be a part of Global Land Forum 2018.

For more information visit: https://www.globallandforum.org/

Information Sourced from :  http://www.landcoalition.org/en/regions/asia/blog/global-land-forum-2018-why-you-need-be-there

 

FROM SHATTERED LIVES TO DIGNIFIED LIVING – HOW JOINT LAND OWNERSHIP HELPED WOMEN OF NEPAL REBUILD THEIR LIVES

MY LAND, MY RIGHT : Son Maya and Konu Kumari 

Even earthquakes couldn’t shake the path to empowerment. The power bestowed on the women of Nepal through Joint Land Ownership programme not only empowered women but it also helped them rebuild their lives from rubble as well.

When massive earthquake hit major parts of Nepal in the year 2015, the world gaped in shock as what remained of Nepal was death and devastation. Standing at the brink of total destruction, it is the will-power of the Nepalese people and the active support from the government as well as local and international NGOs that helped rebuild lives and living. Communities from all over the world lent their helping hand, of which ILC members too were some of the strong supporters. Bit by bit, the Nepalese people regained their footing and helped themselves to self-sufficiency. But what stood out was the massive role that women played in helping their families become financially and socially strong once again. And all thanks to the Joint Land Ownership system that helped the women in the process. The stories of Konu Kumari Karki and Som Maya Bhandari are examples of how Joint Land Ownership has provided successful case studies for the world over to follow.

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” JOINT LAND OWNERSHIP IS THE ANSWER TO GENDER DISCRIMINATION” : Konu Kumari Karki proudly displays her Joint Land Ownership document.

Konu Kumari Karki and her family of five are one of the typical examples of rural families of Nepal. Like the rest of Nepal, her family was also affected by the massive earthquake. In Konu’s words, “Our ward was worst hit by quake. Death toll was highest in our area. Few days were spent in despair and empty stomach. Tarpaulin was shelter for 3 houses during that period. As relief from agencies and government arrived we upgraded to transitional shelter of our own”

Farmers of Helambu rural municipality ward 7; Ichok had horrendous sufferings from quake. For many like Konu, the transitional shelter was for living. But their production was still rotting in open air. Rodents and reptiles added to the challenge. After two and half years in transitional shelter, the government announced grant of Rs. 3lakhs. That would be for a two-room house. However for Konu’s family two rooms were not enough. But for bigger house they did not have savings.  So, while their neighbors started construction from government grant, Konu’s family decided to choose the alternative and go for HELVETAS as they had their own technicians and mobilizers. This decision proved to be a life changing one for Konu, as she not only got a house but her rightful ownership as well.

Currently, Konu Kumari Karki and her family have a  3 room disaster resilient  house. She says,”Agencies not only constructed my house but established my ownership in land as well. After 16 yrs  of marriage  I am  legally owner  of my  house. I  have  no  words  to  express  my  gratitude.  We worked  together to  run  our  family. But  Ownership was of husband alone.  Constant  fear of him selling  land  predominantly  occupied  my   mind.  Thanks  to  CSRC  and  HELVETAS,  this  fear  is  now gone.”

Konu Kumari Karki

“JOINT LAND OWNERSHIP HAS BOOSTED MY CONFIDENCE : Konu Kumari Karki”

Lastly, Konu Kumari Karki adds”We all want to stop gender discrimination but the question was how. Joint land ownership (JLO) is the answer .In the beginning; all were skeptical on what would happen of  a  woman’s  name  being  added  in ownership. But I have felt the change now, my  decisions are  also respected.  My confidence is  also boosted.  Orientation on JLO is  being made in  area regularly. I also participate and suggest all to go in for Joint Land Ownership for creating stronger stance for women in the society.”

And not Komu alone……

Like Komu, Joint Land Ownership has been a life changing experience for Som Maya Bhandari  as well. Som Maya Bhandari belongs to Helambu Rural Municipality, Ward No 2, Kiul. She is a stereo typical example of women being a mere object of patriarchal society. She and her family of 5 were amply affected by the quake. As a result of the quake, her mother in law had deceased and they had lost their property in the disaster.To add to her woes, her husband was an alcoholic. Hence all the family’s responsibility came on the shoulders of Som Maya. Quake had affected their income as well.Trouble was increasing in alarming rate. Regular altercations at home resulted in her children skipping school on regular basis. She was harassed as well. Som Maya adds, “If it wasn’t for my children I would long left the house, but for my children’s better future I endured all the traumas for this long”.

Family problems piled up in an uncontrollable manner. Livestock rearing was an only option for livelihood. She had cognizance of it not being enough. Whatever little income she would get as a process would be captured by her husband.Domestic violence became a regular norm.Some turned towards violence as well.

In the meanwhile government announced 3 lakh grants for housing reconstruction. Dilemma on this grant being enough or not for housing reconstruction always encompassed Som Maya. Beneficiary card issued by government was in husband’s name. In this period Helvetas announced support for reconstruction of houses. Fortunately their ward was selected for support. Luck was on their side this time as their family was chosen for support. Emotional strain regarding reconstruction was uplifted. For all her troubles in all these years, Som Maya experienced relief for the first time as not only house, she got hold of her precious ownership rights as well. For a change, she could be in control of her land and hence the financial status of the family as well.

Som Maya Bhandari

“TODAY I DON’T HAVE TO HIDE THE OWNERSHIP DOCUMENTS IN THE FEAR THAT MY HUSBAND WOULD SELL THE LAND OR HOUSE . I AM AN EQUAL OWNER OF IT: Som Maya Bhandari”

Now, Som Maya Bhandari has a disaster resilient house.Earlier they had 4 ropani (1 hectare=0.05 rop) of land. Her husband sold it without her knowledge. The money was also misused without her concern. Currently her house is constructed in only 0.2 hectare of remaining ancestral property. Anxiety always surrounded her that her husband would sell this land as well. She shares” There were many sleepless nights, fear always surrounded me. A constant grip of reality regarding my children will be landless is what made me acquire joint land ownership. Every day, out of fear, I use to hide the ownership documents in place he couldn’t find.”

Som Maya adds “Discussion regarding Joint land ownership started in community. I felt this joint land ownership is for women like me. I joined the campaign and submitted all my credentials. Receiving signature of my husband was whole new mountain to climb. After persuasion and many rounds of discussion he agreed. Today I have ownership of my house. I don’t have to hide the ownership documents in constant fear. My husband’s rehabilitation is redemption for him. But I can sleep in nights without worrying about my children’s future – thanks to JLO initiative.”

CSRC, a member of ILC and a vital part of the Commitment Based Initiative on Women’s Land Rights of ILC , has been a part of the life-changing policy of Joint Land ownership in Nepal. Not only were they part of the initiation process but have been regularly building sensitization and awareness around the process and system as well. Their door to door coverage and campaign have ensured that women like Komu Kumari Karki or Som Maya Pradhan can become faces of the global process of empowerment of women. They are also examples to prove that land ownership is a strong tool to bring about social changes which is gender inclusive.

Contributed  and Written by: Sristi Shrestha – CSRC, NEPAL

Edited by: Srichandra Venkataramanan- Swadhina, India

‘There is no single solution to women’s land rights challenges in India’: National Workshop on Women’s Land Rights

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A singular approach or a one-track solution is not possible to address  the issue of women’s land rights in India. This was the basic conclusion that emerged from the two-day National-level Workshop at Jamshedpur (Jharkhand, India) in October 2017 as a part of the Commitment-Based Initiative on Women’s Land Rights of International Land Coalition. The workshop was hosted by Swadhina.

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The National Workshop gave an excellent scope to inspect and understand the basic flaws, challenges and scope of implementation of women’s rights over her land in India.  Having representatives from the indigenous community, farmer’s rights initiatives, land rights organizations and local government representatives, the workshop provided an excellent and in-depth study of the women’s land rights situation in India. Not just discussions, the workshop was enriched by in-depth presentations from different organizations working on the issue of land rights and social justice.

The socio-legal challenges: As  veteran land activist Jagat Narayan well explained in his opening remarks, land rights for women cannot be judged from a single perspective. It needs to be analysed from religious, constitutional /legal and social perspective. He said that in India, women’s land or property ownership is guided by the laws which is religion-dependant. Hence the rights of a Hindu woman differs greatly from that of a Muslim woman and vice versa. In this context he clearly explained the differences in ownership as per the provisions in one’s religion. He felt that there is a strong need to reanalyze the laws based on the current context where women are to be treated as equal citizen’s of the world.

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Echoing his feelings, most of the participants felt that the differences in legal rights based on religion often made it challenging to build awareness – making it difficult to explain different legal rights to different set of communities.

Mariam Masih of Samekit Jan Vikas Kendra, who works with indigenous women’s groups explained her helplessness saying that often discussions about granting equal rights to women, especially land rights, lead the communities to believe that the social worker has come to instigate the women against their communities or custom.

Social Conditioning: Panchayat leader Sukurmoni Hembram said that land rights of women was often curbed by social reasoning which is based on social conditioning. Since a girl is ‘given away ’in marriage with a huge dowry, it is often argued that the dowry is given ‘in lieu’ of land or property with the expectation that she will not return to her parents house to claim her property. In fact this is often the reasoning put up by the male relatives of the girl’s family that she cannot claim her share because it has already been sold away to arrange for her dowry.

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Social activitist Lalita too emphasized on the need to look into addressing the problem in a holistic manner rather than focus only on legal rights. ‘ It is often the women who express their reluctance to claim a share of their husband’s property or her father’s piece of land’, she explained. Whatever is theirs is mine as well – is the common argument put up by them. Hence when the same woman is widowed or left by her husband, she cannot counter argue her own explanation since she is socially conditioned to believe that it is her destiny to be dependent on the men-folk.

Land rights of Indigenous  women- custom versus need: One thing that emerged as a whole was that the issue of land rights among indigenous communities should be looked at with utmost care and with a perspective beyond the legal parlance. David Murmu, having been a tribal voice for years, explained how the indigenous rules of land ownership was originally developed as a means to protect the tribal land from being vested to non-tribals. He explained that the tribal land laws focus on protection of land as a community, hence back then the issue of separate land demarcation or rights for women was not seen to be necessary since the question of survival and food security was the responsibility of the total community. The obstruction to separate land rights to women was a means to protect the scheduled area for the tribals. However with changing times, it is essential to find out how widows and single women could be protected within the purview of customary land laws.

Yashoda Mardi, a tribal grass-root leader pointed out yet another challenge of tribal land laws – absence of proper documentation. “ The khatiyan is often in the name of the great grand father and there is no change of name done in the land document so technically even the man is not the land-owner as per papers, so the question of division of land of claiming the land in the name of the woman comes to a dead-end solution”.

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Land Documentation and records- a big hurdle: Vijendra representing organization BJSA from Uttar Pradesh highlighted the issue of absence of proper land documentation and land records. In rural areas, land demarcations, land boundaries, land ownerships are often a matter of verbal understanding rather than any written records. Either the land documents are not available or are lost over the period of time.  M.A.Khan from FES, Odisha was of the same opinion. “Most of the land divisions do not have any written records, in such circumstances it becomes extremely challenging to earmark land for women or even for families.” Additionally, he felt that the land records maintained by the government departments are also not adequate or accessible. This poses a huge challenge in case of redistribution of land of commons too. A lot of land for redistribution among the landless and women’s groups is often available but due to the absence of proper information as well as lack of proper documentation, the distribution policy is affected. A system of proper maintenance of land records would ensure that the women would be able to access data on available land for collective use.

Land acquisition and compensation: Land acquisition for welfare purposes often benefit the men-folk rather than women. Apart from the fact that it leads to displacement which affect the women more, the compensation is often beneficial for the men rather than the women.

Being associated with Social Audit, Jagat Narayan explained how the different rules and regulations were often unknowingly gender discriminatory.  He cited an example where a woman was the land owner but when her land was taken by the government for welfare purpose, she was offered a compensation. But since did not have a bank account or the requisite documents to have a bank account, the money went to her husband who had a bank account. So, inspite of being the legal owner, the technical challenges prevented her from getting what was rightfully hers.

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Recognition as women farmers: Jacob Nellithanam, long associated with farmer’s rights initiatives, throwing in a debate as to whether owning a land legally would actually translate into land rights of a woman ? Or is it merely a power entrapped in documentation ? When we are talking of women’s land rights, are we also thinking of her recognition as farmers ? He said that when we are talking of equal land rights in an indigenous situation we need to be cautious that we do not disturb their farming techniques.  He gave examples as to how the tribal communities, where majorly women do the farming, are falling prey to the modern system of growing cash crops rather than food crops. This is against the tribal culture. He felt that along with their right over their land, women should be empowered and recognized as farmers. This would enhance their decision-making power and they would then be able to protect their indigenous agro-system, including protection of their seeds.

Those present also felt that recognition of women as farmers is long due. Adequate support to women farmers, granting schemes exclusively for them and helping them improve their productivity and decision-making power are important.

Mariam Masih, drawing from her own experience of working amongst the tribal communities and helped more than 300 women have their kitchen garden, said that encouraging women to have their own kitchen garden was a very emphatic way to point out to the society how successful women can be in farming. It is a small but symbolic gesture of social recognition of women as farmers. She also placed the inclusion of women in village gram sabha and farmer’s committees, co-operatives and groups to be important step towards a gender-inclusive agricultural system.

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Steps towards a gender-balanced land and agricultural system: The discussion and feedback from the participants presented a number of steps to ensure a gender-balanced land and agricultural system.

1) There is a need to revisit and analyse existent land laws to find out possible scope of incorporating the rights of women within the structure.

2) There are laws but definite lack of awareness on the laws as well so awareness is the key to ensure that the laws are implemented as well.

3) In the same lines, there is a need to strengthen advocacy at the macro level so that there are genuine efforts on behalf of the local government and administration to ensure that right to land for women are adequately protected.

4) A wide study -reaching to different communities, different contexts and encompassing different strata of the society- must be undertaken nationwise so as to analyse the actual reach and implementation of land laws, land and property related schemes which directly benefit women.

5) There is a need to improve the land documentation process – tying loose ends, helping families locate their land documents, maintaining a proper data-bank of available land for redistribution, land of commons available for collective usage of women and most of all, ensuring that common people, especially women have access to that information.

6) Efforts should be made on behalf of the government so that land-ownership is always considered joint and for that compulsory marriage registration process must be strengthened.

7) Rights of women should be tied to other social processes so that ‘’ownership’’ and women can be visualized as a socially-acceptable terminology – like having housing schemes for women, electricity connection in the name of women etc.

8) Encouraging more village women’s groups, encouraging inclusion and participation of women in village collectives and decision-making bodies like Farmer’s Groups, Co-operatives and regular participation of women in Gram Sabha where major decisions are taken.

9) Changing the social mind-set is not easy but certain rectifying actions can be taken like encouraging allotment of a piece of land in the name of the girl during marriage instead of giving dowry. This would provide her a financial protection, as well as stop vices like dowry system.

10) Emphasising the role of women as farmers – adequately supporting them and helping them have access to knowledge and monetary power.

11) Forming a network of NGOs, CBOs , like-minded groups which work on the issue of land rights to come together to help strengthen the gender perspective of land rights and develop a collective workplan.

The workshop concluded with the pledge to continue with activism on the issue, using this platform to continue with this network of NGOs, activists and local government representatives.

 

 

‘I Acquired Power through Land’: The inspiring tale of Dol Maya Karki

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My Name is Dol Maya Karki. I live in Kisan Nagar of Mahottari district in Nepal. Albeit I was interested in studying in my childhood, my parents never sent me school due to poverty. My parents forced me to get married with a farmer- Netra Bahadur Karki of Bardibas ward-6 Kishannagar, Mahottari district, southern plain of Nepal. Comparatively, my husband’s family was richer than mine. They had 2 hectares of land. However, there was no happiness in my family because of having two mothers-in-law. My mother-in-law was not satisfied with my work at home. She always blamed me and did not help in my difficulties. The total land of the family was registered in my step mother-in-law’s name and she thought herself as a superior person of the family. Unfortunately, she became ill one day and we were compelled to sell our 0.63 hectare of land for spending on her treatment. But she did not recover and finally died. My husband was also not helpful to me. He was an alcoholic person and he tortured me. After the death of my step mother-in- law, my family members partitioned properties – including the land. Whatever the land we got from the family that was registered land in my husband’s name. I could not say anything because of fear. I was not happy about the registration of land in my husband’s name because he was not a good person. Just then I heard the name of village land right forum (VLRF) in my village. I was totally unaware of what it did. One day I saw a crowd in Rastriya Primary School. When I reached the school and I found that the crowd was a joint land ownership (JLO) encampment organized by VLRF. I got the information on JLO and its importance through the encampment. When I came back to home, I requested my husband for JLO but he was not convinced with my proposal. Then, I shared my problems with the members of the VLRF. They came to my house and convinced my husband as well. Then, he was ready to acquire the JLO after this VLRF intervention. Finally my husband and I got the JLO on 21 May 2017 from district land revenue office, Mahottari. Now, we have 0.133 hectare of land. I felt now strong when I got the joint land certificate. Being equal partners, my husband also cares for me now and we are happy now. I feel empowered.

(Contributed by: Sristi)

Women in Managerial Positions in Cooperative: Outcome of a Successful Leadership Training in Indonesia

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A Community-based Leadership Training was conducted on 4th of October 2017 in Banten Province in Indonesia under the facilitation of organization RMI.

The event was conducted involving 32 women and 20 men in indigenous community (or adat community – as it is called-namely Kasepuhan Karang) located in Lebak Regency, Banten Province. The objective of the event was held was:

– To strengthen the community understanding in women’s role and rights in relations with the natural resources governance

– To strengthen the role of management of the cooperative planned by the community.

The understanding of the role of women grass-root leadership was not only strengthened through theoretical aspect of  training but the event eventually witnessed the win of the basic ideology of women’s leadership through the decisions taken in the process.

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As an outcome of the training, the community agreed to choose all women on the cooperative managerial position. 5 women were elected as the head of the cooperative, 2 treasurers (1 accountant and 1 cashier), secretary and vice head of the cooperative. This is the first women-led cooperative that would exist in Kasepuhan communities, which consists of 522 communities in Lebak Regency.

This cooperative’s main task is to provide loan for the community members whose agro-forestry garden is located in their newly-launched customary forest, after decades of struggle against st-claim of the state that it was a state forest. Together with RMI, this management team of the cooperative will prepare the cooperative’s statutory that will be inclusive to women.

Enhancing Grass-root Leadership through Capacity Building: Strengthening Women’s Land Rights in Nepal

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A Two day Leadership Training entitled “Women’s Land Rights and Gender Justice Leadership Training” was organized by Community Self Reliance Center with the assistance of International Land Coalition (ILC-Asia) on September 17th & 18th 2017 at Kathmandu. The aim of the training was to develop leadership skills in women and men from various districts of the country along with various polices related to land rights. It is hoped that the training program would contribute in raising awareness on women’s land rights and increase the participant’s expertise to analyze and deal with the issues. The training was a two day program which consisted of various leadership training presentations and exercises, presentations on policies and land reform rights, development of strategies. Participants were from various areas of Nepal and some of them are even leading the land reforms activities, assisting people in their village, raising awareness at the village level.

The objectives were:

  • To develop farmers (women and men) skills to tap into existing opportunities to voice for their rights (leadership/management behavior and practices).
  • To increase knowledge on various policies related to land rights.

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                                   LEADERSHIP TRAINING – DAY 1

All the participants were welcomed by Kalpana Karki, Campaign Manager at Community Self Reliance Center (CSRC). The session started with a song “we shall overcome” and lighting the candles. The session had a purpose as lighting the candle meant understanding the leadership within oneself and spreading the knowledge within the community.

It was then followed by introduction session which was followed by ice breaking session named Champions, where the total numbers of participants were 16 and they were paired into two and they neededto introduce their partners.

After the break, there was a video session, “Tough Talk with Shristi K.C” after which the participants discussed on the positive aspect of the video. As the training progressed, there was a session which involved identifying leader within the participant themselveswhich was termed self-assessment test.This was followed byMs. Karki giving a briefing on various roles of women on land rights and the importance of dual citizenship.

This was followed by a presentation by Lyam Darji on “How to lead a team and what the basic features a leader needed”.

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LEADERSHIP TRAINING- DAY 2

The second day of the program started with the reflection of previous day’s activities which was followed by three presentations on “Social movement and leaders” facilitated by Jagat Basnet, “Advocacy and factors important for advocacy as a leader” was facilitated by Jagat Deuja  and “Land rights of women – Khas land policy of Bangladesh” facilitated by Subash Kattel. The session also included various exercises where the participants were divided into two groups.

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There was break before the presentation on ILC toolkit, where brief introduction were provided on each tools prepared by International Land Coalition – Asia (ILC-Asia). The session was followed by exercises on developing strategy: participants were divided into four groups based on their districts. Participants were tasked to come up with: 1) their experience as a leader 2) strategies needed to develop their community.

The session was followed by post-test assessment to understand their level of knowledge after the training. The workshop ended with some concluding remarks by Kalpana Karki and vote of thanks by the participants.

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Outcome of the Training:

  • Brought out a clear idea on woemn’s land rights laws, policies and implementation practices in different areas and situations through Women’s land Rights Toolkit.
  • Developed clear strategies for the trainees to take active part in implementation of women’s land rights, especially in implementation of Joint Land Ownership Strategy.
  • Developed a timeline and activity module for implementation of activities related to promotion of women’s land ownership.

 

Reported by: Kalpana Karki /Rojvin Pradhan

A more detailed report is available here: NEPAL LEADERSHIP TRAINING REPORT

National Workshop on Women’s Land Rights: Dhaka, Bangladesh: 27th September 2017

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A National Advocacy Workshop under Commitment Based Initiative-4 Asia of International Land Coalition was organized jointly by ALRD – member of CBI-4 initiative and Sangat- a South Asian Feminist Organization, on 27th September 2017 at the CIRDAP auditorium Dhaka for future strategy building. The workshop titled on “Women Access to Resource and Property” was presided over by the Sangat Bangladesh Coordinator Ms Khushi Kabir. A presentation was made by Ms. Rowshan Jahan Moni, executive director of ALRD based on the findings of the ground works, while Dr. Meghna Guhathakurta, member of National Human Rights Commission; Dr. Simeen Mahmood, Head of the Gender Studies Cluster, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development and Shamsul Huda were the distinguished commentators.

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Speaking on this occasion, Ms.Khushi Kabir rightly pointed out that the gender disparity present in Bangladesh was due to the fact that women were not given their due rights on land property.

Endorsing the views of Ms.Khushi Kabir, Ms.Rowshan Jahan Moni too highlighted how women, the major contributors to agricultural economy were the most deprived when it came to land ownership. With a huge contribution of 64.4% to agriculture-based economy, their land ownership was pegged at 2-4%. This was an empirical evidence enough to highlight the pathetic situation of women’s land ownership.

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This workshop successfully engaged Bangladesh Human Rights Commission member,women activists, grass-root leaders and partners, ILC members in country, journalists, researchers, academics, and youth to discuss and solidify issues gathered from the four local level consultations/meetings.

 

A link to the media coverage on the issue:

http://www.newagebd.net/article/25018/limited-access-to-property-keeping-women-behind:-rights-activists-

(Reported by: Sanjida Khan Ripa, Bangladesh)

Grass-root Leadership Training: 18th to 20th August 2017, Jamshedpur (India)

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A Leadership Training was organised between 18th to 20th August 2017 at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, India. About 40 participants took part in the training. The training was held as a part of CBI-4 initiative of International Land Coalition.

The participants mainly comprised of grass-root leaders working in interior rural, indigenous areas. Coming from 3 different states and representing 10 rural areas, the participants took active part in the learning process, as well as shared experiences of practical challenges from field areas.

Being conducted in three different languages, the training focussed on three aspects:

1) Basic ideas on leadership and applicative leadership 2) Land laws governing women’s rights 3) Responses as leaders to women’s land rights.

All the trainees representing areas of indigenous-majority population, the focus was given on customary land laws and the gender-sensitiveness among different tribal communities and customs.

Apart from plenary discussions, the training included group discussions, group presentation, as well as creative exercises like poster development, activism songs and street theatre. These creative avenues gave an excellent learning to the participants on how to develop awareness and motivation at the field level.

A highlight of the training was explaining the presentations from different countries on their efforts to promote women’s land rights – Nepal, Bangladesh and Cambodia.

The  resource persons of the training included Saswati Roy (Secretary of Swadhina), Supriti Murmu (Tribal Land Rights Leader), Sukurmoni Hembram (Panchayat Head), Diptendu Mukherji (Consultant Trainer-Netwroking Alliance for Voluntary Actions), Nirmala Sahu (Women SHG Leader, Orissa). Guest Facilitators included Director of Jan Vikas Kendra (Jamshedpur) and Director of Jesuit Social Service Centre ( Andamans).

Four women village leaders, who had received leadership training earlier in Kolkata, were invited to this training to be group moderators and group resource supports. This was a very good scope for them to utilise their training to practice as leaders and they fulfilled their role with excellence.

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The sprawling campus of Vikas Bharati Training Centre offered not only an excellent training venue but the accompanying organic farming demonstration areas too gave the participants a lovely scope of field exposure.

(Reported by: Smriti Sarkar)