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
Makerere University students strike can be averted
On Monday, 20th October 2014, Makerere witnessed yet another student’s strike. It was even reported by some sections of the media that One student had been injured....
Is Uganda
Being in the 91.3 Capital FM studios on Saturday 18th October for the Capital Gang hosted by Mr. Oscar Semweya Musoke reminded me of the saying- a good anvil does not fear the hammer....
Why Vision 2040 is and will still be illusive
Most policies in Uganda are very clear on paper but very ineffectively implemented due to the process always followed while formulating them; a policy should be drafted after a research, needs assessment, or a problem that needs to be solved....
Municipal bonds good, but let
I recently read in one of Uganda’s dailies that the Kampala Capital City Authority (“KCCA”) seeks to issue municipal bonds to raise much needed revenues for development purposes....
Educate a girl and reduce poverty
Despite the enormous progress of Universal Primary Education which has raised primary school enrolment from 2.7 to over 8.2 million in recent years, girls continue to suffer exclusion in education systems....
Scientists should take advantage of the president’s love for science
On several occasions President Museveni has come out to express his love for science and science based initiatives especially in value additions and energy as engines to drive economic growth...
Was Oscar Pistorius' 5 year sentence fair and just?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter