Opinion
Compensation and resettlement in Hoima: the plight of women
Publish Date: Aug 13, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Agatha Ninsiima

There are concerns that the land compensation process in oil refinery area is biased towards men and presents barriers to women.


Compulsory land acquisition in the proposed refinery area allows the Government or their agents to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation.


Unfortunately, during compensation, customary practices that are upheld usually make a fuss of women.  Women’s attempts to assert their rights to property ownership are often seen as challenging society, rather than as an expression of their rights as Ugandan citizens.


Women work two thirds of the world's working hours, yet receive only 10% of the world's income and own only 1% of the world's property.


In Uganda, women are the largest employees in the agricultural sector, yet they have the smallest fraction of land registered in their names.


There are gender gaps in decision making at community levels and it is worse at the household level wherein decisions are made by the man of the house, under whose name all property is registered.


This pattern has a bearing on who receives the required compensation under compulsory land acquisition and where the family will resettle.


While women are the center of household activities, it is the men who eat the fruits of their labour rather than share in equal partnership.
 


Therefore, the need to address gender issues within the compensation and resettlement in the oil refinery communities of Kabaale, Hoima District is eminent.


Un fair compensation narrations from women touch the very fabric of their hearts. Women are concerned that their husbands will not share the proceeds from the compensation. Ms. Bagonza indicated that “I want women to be considered.


I am scared that since my husband is the one whose name is on the compensation form, he might take all the money”.Most family properties are registered in the names of men, and for that reason, they receive proceeds on behalf of the family.


As a result, reports reveal that some men are threatening not to share the compensation. Women want existing laws to be enforced allowing them to feel that society has heard their voices. This process will allow women to attain the necessary support to secure their children’s and families’ future.


During my field visits to Hoima district, I met several women with synonymous stories. Although the voices of these women remain muffled over years due to limited opportunities to share their plight, currently they are beginning to actively participate in agitating for their property rights and equality.


Fortunately, there are many ways to improve gender equality in Uganda while both respecting customary practices and also developing a richer nation. The first step to achieving equality is to sensitise women not only in the oil refinery region on customary laws, human right aspects of the compensation process to allow them demand and defend their rights.


The potential for women's leadership in land protection, management, and active involvement in compensation process is arguably the greatest untapped resource for a successful, sustainable and practical compensation model.


The Writer is a Lawyer and Project Advocate at Advocates for Natural Resources Governance and Development (ANARDE).
 

Related Stories

Bunyoro residents complain about unfair compensation for their land

Govt wants sh73b for oil refinery compensation

Gov’t resumes compensation of property owners

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
United Nations security council resolution 1325 – A dream deferred?
We are approaching the 15th anniversary of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 of 2000, on women, peace, and security in October 2015. Women from Africa and other continents pushed for the passage of this resolution, and it was met with pomp and ceremony....
Collective responsibility is required in the observance of child rights
Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Children (UPFC) was initiated during the 7th Parliament to create an avenue through which the status of Uganda children, especially those in difficult circumstances could be addressed....
Child neglect is the leading cause of death in children
In Uganda, as part of our national celebrations is the 16 days of activism starting from November 25 to December 16....
Youth and empowerment
In order to gain youth empowerment, there should be intergenerational equity, civic engagement and democracy building through attitudinal, structural and cultural process whereby young people gain the ability, authority and agency to make decisions and implement change in their own lives and the li...
Focus on village savings to eradicate poverty
Living in poverty is ugly and those trapped in it need to explore their potentials out of it. Uganda has made enormous progress in reducing poverty levels country wide from 56% in 1992 to 24% in 2009; several national studies report the reduction to be more significant in urban areas compared to ru...
Germany’s secret credit addiction
With recent data showing that German exports fell 5.8% from July to August, and that industrial production shrank by 4%, it has become clear that the country’s unsustainable credit-fueled expansion is ending....
Should Govt lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers?
Its Ok
No Way
Not Sure
follow us
subscribe to our news letter