Ethiopia has made efforts to domesticate different international frameworks, such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action, and the Rio Declarations, in its laws to protect women’s rights. Besides, the country’s constitution accords women equal rights with men. However, despite the commitments the government has made for securing women’s rights along with their male counterparts, there are still gaps in the legal and policy frameworks in guaranteeing and protecting women’s land rights in a full and inclusive manner.

The Stand for Her Land (S4HL) Campaign is closing the implementation gap for women’s land rights: the gulf between the strong standards in place to protect women’s rights to land, and the realization of those rights in practice, so that millions of women can benefit from the transformational power of land rights. S4HL is a five-year advocacy project implemented in Uganda, Senegal, and Ethiopia with the objective to catalyze a sustained, locally driven movement for women’s land rights, increase knowledge and resources for a diverse group of stakeholders to realize women’s land rights, and engage communities in realizing women land rights.

A remarkable partnership has been established between S4HL, the German development agency Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the National Land Task Force on Women on the second of June at East Gate Hotel in Bishoftu, Ethiopia. Land for Life Ethiopia is a member of the national coalition of the S4HL Campaign, and mainly involved in promoting people-centered land governance aiming at providing space for all, in particular community representatives, to contribute to the development and implementation of inclusive and transparent policies. During the two-day workshop held from the first to the second of June, the partners deliberated and jointly engaged on thematic areas, their partnership’s vision, and related objectives. Besides, the partners identified key milestones and action points to operate the partnership effectively.

Photo: Participants of the workshop, ©Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia.

The three partners envision Ethiopian women to fully exercise and enjoy their land, housing, and property rights. In order to achieve the vision, the three partners have agreed on and set the following objectives:

  • To assist each other in raising awareness and enhancing the capacities of women, communities (including traditional and religious leaders), CSOs, and grass-root movements, to effectively participate, practice and advocate for women’s secure land and property rights.
  • To assist each other in engaging policymakers, lobbying, and urging governmental authorities to revere their obligation of respecting, fulfilling, and enacting laws for women’s land and property rights and to prioritize women’s land rights issues in governmental policies.
  • To assist each other in fostering partnerships and networking among stakeholders, e.g., government, donors, and CSOs, working on women’s land and property rights and promoting collaboration, learning, and collective action.

The workshop ended with all three parties signing a Memorandum of Understanding to clarify the expectations, roles, and responsibilities of the cooperation between the partners concerning women’s land and property rights in Ethiopia.

Mulugeta Gadissa,
Land for Life Ethiopia

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