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
Staying the Course in Europe’s East
As the European Union’s leaders gather in Riga for a summit with the six members of the EU’s “Eastern Partnership,” many recall the dramatic meeting in Vilnius of November 2013....
President Museveni is still right on creation of constituencies
This debate arises from the creation of 36 constituencies by President Yoweri Museveni. The people of Uganda should not criticise the creation of constituencies but argue for a strong policy....
Teachers strike; its high time government enforces contracts
On Tuesday morning, as I set out from home to town to begin my day, a village woman stopped me and requested me to offer her a lift which I did. Before she could settle in the car, she sought my opinion about the ‘silent’ teachers’ strike....
Channeling China’s aspirations
China has begun to stretch its economic and military muscles in recent years. In the South China Sea, it has built a series of quasi-military bases on the tiny Spratly Islands and deployed warships to defend them....
The missing meaning democracy
The decision to abandon relative peace and prosperity for brutal war and instability may seem irrational. But young people, born and raised in democratic societies, have increasingly been yielding to the appeal of death-dealing groups like the Islamic State, leaving their homes and families to wage...
Why Greece is Different,  Daniel Gros
By Daniel Gros The seemingly interminable negotiations between the new Greek government and its international creditors – the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission – on a new loan deal have entered a dangerous phase....
Should politicians be banned from addressing religious gatherings?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter