Oxfam in Malawi has urged women in Kasungu to register their customary land in line with the new land laws which seek to protect vulnerable groups such as women and children.
Speaking during the International Women’s Day commemoration on Wednesday at Ching’amba Village, in Senior Chief Lukwa’s area in Kasungu, Oxfam in Malawi gender programmes officer Sarah Chisanje said registered land is protected from any form of violence such as land grabbing.
She said: “As women, we are responsible for our families. We should not let men intimidate us but we should stand up and fight for our rights. If we register our land, no one can take it away from us.”
Rural Women Assembly Malawi Chapter chairperson Alice Kachere said in the absence of laws, women had difficulties to own land; hence, most of them suffered a lot after losing their husbands.
“We all know how women in Malawi suffer when their husbands die. All the property, including land is grabbed by the man’s relatives and the woman and her children are chased away. This is torture,” she said.
Kachere said after the enactment of the land laws in 2018, Rural Women Assembly embarked on a sensitisation campaign, encouraging women to register land and be protected.
She said women are vulnerable to abuse on land matters due to economic hardships which mute their voice in decision-making regarding land and other property.
Senior Chief Lukwa said he will champion equal land sharing and encourage his subjects, especially women, to register their land.
“Today, I am encouraging women to take part in this registration. I am advising them to support each other, come out and report any abuse and harassment they face so that we can create a better environment for everyone,” he said.
He has since pledged to punish men who block their wives from registering land.