By SITEMBILE SIWAWA
TIME has come for women to re-examine their status and to have equal opportunity access to land, Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Nkandu Luo has said.
And Professor Luo is concerned that the patriarchal system in traditional leadership has continued to disadvantage women when it comes to access to land.
Speaking at the Southern Africa Traditional Leadersâ€™ Conference (SATLC) in Lusaka yesterday, Prof Luo said women should have greater access to land because they are major producers of food in Zambia.
â€œTraditional leaders need to start apportioning land to women in their chiefdoms. We also need to define what land is, there are so many things that can be done on a piece of land apart from farming,â€ Prof Luo said.
She also urged Africans to give land to investors on the basis of partnerships.
The minister said Government is currently reviewing policies on land to ensure women have a fair share based on President Sataâ€™s directive.
The second SATLC, which officially opened yesterday, is expected to end on Friday.
The theme of the conference is: â€œWomenâ€™s Land Rights are Human Rights.â€
The event has attracted traditional leaders and civil society organisations from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.
And Swedish Ambassodor to Zambia Lena Nordstrom said traditional leaders have a vital role to play to ensure women benefit from customary land.
Ms Nordstrom said women play a critical role in national food security and other economic benefits.
And Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo III of the Soli people is confident that if given chance, women can administer land and utilise it for economic gains.
The traditional leader said a woman should not be a labourer on the land but should also a beneficiary.
â€œI have a policy in my chiefdom that when a male headman dies, successors should also include women and as such my chiefdom has seen the number of women headmen increasing. If a woman is headman then it is obvious she will administer land to fellow women,â€ Chieftainess Nkomeshya
She is happy that Government is in the process of reviewing legal instruments to empower women with land.
By SITEMBILE SIWAWA