Although the 1994 Ethiopian Federal Constitution ensures that Ethiopian women have equal rights as those of their male counterparts, women in Ethiopia still face obstacles to secure their land rights due to limited awareness of women’s land rights and inadequate participation of women in land-related processes in many parts of the country. And yet, there is no women’s group working on policy issues related to women’s land rights. LAND supported the establishment of a task force on women’s Land Right to bridge this gap.
The objective of the Taskforce is to deliberate on women’s land rights issues in order to inform formulation and implementation of land policy and legislation in Ethiopia. It will identify customary, legal and regulatory constraints affecting women’s rights to access and use land and make recommendations to policy makers and legislators on how they could be addressed.
As a voice for women’s inheritance and land rights, the Taskforce will review and comment on forthcoming laws and regulations and make recommendations to ensure that the laws are in place and implemented to promote the realization of women’s land rights. The Taskforce has 20 members representing various sectors including the Ministries of Agriculture, Justice, Women, Children and Youth Affairs, Federal Supreme Court.
The Taskforce took its first step with an inception workshop that was held on 5 -6 February 2015 in Bishoftu town in which 19 people (7 of whom were men) participated. Women’s Affairs Directorate of Ministry of Agriculture was selected as the Chair of the taskforce and Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs as Vice Chair.
In addition, the Taskforce established a “Women Land Desk” within the Ministry of Agriculture, Women’s Affairs Directorate to serve as a technical resource for both the ministry and the Taskforce.