ForumCiv Liberia Concludes Policy Dialogue on Women and Rural Communities Land Rights

By: Laymah Kollie

Monrovia-February 4,2024: Forumciv Liberia in partnership with Development Education Network (Den-L), Actionaid Liberia and Liberia Land Authority with funding support from the Sweden Sverige alongside European Union during the weekend conducted a day policy dialogue on women and rural communities land rights in Liberia.

The project titled: “Securing Land Rights for Women and Rural Communities in South-eastern Liberia”, is being implemented in three of Liberia fifteen counties. Namely: Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and River Gee Counties.

The objectives of the project include: increase access to land rights for women and young people; strengthen community engagement in decision-making on land use and to equip CSOs to provide sustainable advocacy for land sector reforms in Liberia.

Giving overview of the project, madam Agnes Kormon, Programme Manager of Forumciv-Liberia stated that the project is being implemented in thirty communities in the proposed counties.

According to madam Kormon, the project which begun in 2021 has produce policy briefings on women and community land rights.

“In 2022, Forumciv and members of the consortium conducted research on women and rural communities land rights and was able to draft a policy from it.
Today. We have come to share this policy with you to get your views on it”, madam Kormon said.

The findings from the policy briefing showed governance structure contradicts the 2018 progressive land rights. It also revealed that there was a minimum mainstream of gender through the community land rights structure.

The findings also indicated that several community structures including traditional leaders, counties land administrators, rural communities, CSOs, CBOs , women had limited knowledge on related legal frameworks.

Additionally, the project findings noted how women in rural communities face series of challenges from their male counterparts in accessing their rights. The Policy report highlighted livelihood challenges of women, community land use and management plan, monitoring and coaching, boundary harmonization amongst others.

Also, Madam Hattie Gbei Wureh of Actionaid explained the significance of women having access to Land.

She also stressed the need for continuous advocacy for women land rights after the completion of the project.

“As we implement these projects on land rights, our key aim is to make sure women have access to land and their rights are protected. We will make sure that we solicit funds to go beyond the closure of the project”.

At the same time, madam Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai, Chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia admonished the aspect of women accessing land, but thinks there’s more to ownership of land that women should be taking onto now.

“Women are accessing but we need to go beyond accessing to ownership, in ensuring that women have ownership to land . We want young women to have ownership to land right”

Meanwhile, Madam Ellen Pratt, Commissioner on Land Use, Planning and Management at the Liberia Land Authority called for a collective effort in addressing land matters pertaining to women and communities.

“As a land commissioner, I pledge my full support from my department to women land ownership. We cannot do our work in the absence of your support”.

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