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Opinion / Women's Corner

Sunday Women Matters with Blondie - To What Extent Do Zimbabwean Women Have Access to Property and Resources?

by Lorraine Blondie Sibanda
14 Jun 2014 at 23:04hrs | Views

The SADC Protocol provides that by 2015 state parties shall review all policies and laws that determine access to, control of and benefit from productive resources by women.

In Zimbabwe, access to productive resources and ownership of property remain the key barriers to women's empowerment. More than six out of ten women do not own a house or land.

According to the 2010-2011 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS), only nine percent of women are houseowners and nine percent are landowners.

Ownership of land is a key indicator of women's empowerment in Zimbabwe.

This is so because agriculture continues to be one of the pillars of the country's economy.

There is a great need for the country to address the persisting gender inequalities in terms of land ownership.

The majority of women land owners however, are in the communal sector where land cannot be used as security for credit.

Women in the communal areas have secondary land use rights through their husbands and in the small scale commercial areas, farms are taken over by sons when the male head of the family dies.

The ownership of land and agricultural assets will increase women's access to credit as both can be used as collateral for loans.

It is therefore important that women be given unconditional access to land and resources for meaningful women's empowerment to take place.

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Source - Lorraine Blondie Sibanda
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