Matito Leruso was born and raised in the herding community of Lengurma in Isiolo County. Communal grazing land has been central to her community’s livelihood, wellbeing, and identity for generations, but they have never had their legal rights to govern it recognized. None of Kenya’s thousands of pastoralist communities have. This changed in 2016, with the passage of the Community Land Act. Since then, Matito has joined other residents of Lengurma in working to understand, use and shape the new law to ensure that their community land rights are respected and upheld.
On the 2019 International Day of Rural Women, Landesa’s Shipra Deo explores how land rights are an essential element for overturning misperceptions about the role of women in society and on the farm.
In a workshop with a group of agronomists who work in agriculture extension in India, I ask the participants to draw the picture of a farmer with whom they work. All but one of them draw male figures.