From large land acquisitions that displace communities without due compensation, to the encroachment of mining on indigenous lands, to the brunt of climate change and natural disasters, to everyday land and property deprivation by kin or state, women are typically more harshly impacted by land tenure insecurity due to discriminatory laws and lingering social bias.
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Kenya’s 2010 constitution guaranteed women extensive land and property rights. But the message wasn’t getting out to the remote communities of the north until a community radio station stepped in.
GARISSA, KENYA – As sun sets on Sankuri village, a group of women take advantage of the dropping temperatures to convene their weekly business meeting.
MAGDALENA AKINYI* HAD a feeling something was amiss when, in 2012, total strangers started coming over to survey her land in Kakamega. The 46-year-old mother of four eventually found out that her husband, who was working in Nairobi, had married a second wife and sold the 4 hectares of land that he and Akinyi had purchased together during their 12 years of marriage.
“I confirmed he had sold the land, and I decided to sue them both – my husband and the buyer – for violation of the law, as my husband had not consulted me before selling the land,” Akinyi says.