Concord Times (Freetown)

Sierra Leone: Action Aid Commissions Report On Women's Right to Land

Action Aid International Sierra Leone, with support from the European Union, has commissioned a report on women's right to property, a fundamental challenge of women in rural communities across Sierra Leone.

The report, which is entitled, "Enhancing Poor and Excluded Women Access to and Control Over Land', is a strategy for empowerment and fighting hunger among women in Sierra Leone by allowing them to get access to land for agriculture and other developmental purposes.

Giving an overview of the report, the Executive Director of Action Aid, Mohamed Sillah, said the overall object of the study was to review the general situation of women and the way in which their empowerment and development is being influenced by their right to land.

He said women's empowerment meant improving the standard and dignity of poor and excluded women to influence national policy, and designing a legal framework to promote and protect women's equal rights to land, adding that the study targeted women from different age groups and professions, including literate and illiterate, singles, widows, separated, married, divorced, single mothers, among others, in six districts.

"Data for the study were collected using multiple data collection tools, desk review - extensive literature review, interview and focus groups discussions, administering of questionnaires to 70 respondents - 58 of themwere interviewed and two focus group discussions were held, two case studies were generated mainly from HIV-positive women in each of the six districts," he said.

Sillah noted that there was no significant relationship between the level of income and the means by which women acquire land in rural communities in Sierra Leone.

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