WOMEN’S RIGHTS TO DEVELOPMENT UNDER THE LAND LEGAL REGIME IN UGANDAAbstract:
The research centered on women and their rights to development under the land legal regime in Uganda. It examined the land law regime in Uganda—statutory law, policies, customary law, and government programmes aiming at promoting respect for women’s rights to land. The study was conducted with an expectation of illuminating women’s rights to access land in Uganda as provided for in the laws. The study therefore is as a result of observation of the superficial injustice against women in particular the denial of women to own and access land resulting from the application of the loopholes in the statutory laws in place that provide for the rights of ownership of property by women in Uganda as well as customary law that is widespread among Ugandans today. The research examined the efficacy of the laws providing for women’s access to land rights in Uganda through looking at how these laws have been applied in matters concerning land. In conclusion, the issue of whether the current provisions of the law deny women access to land rights and thus affecting development are determined. Recommendations and conclusions were made basing on the findings that reflected on the rest of the search. Although the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and other international Conventions to which Uganda ratified give protection to women against abuse of their rights, enforcement of those statutory provisions is difficult as they conflict on specific provisions towards women. The level of illiteracy is very high to the extent that women are not aware of the law and policies providing for their rights to access land. On the other hand, discrimination against women has its roots in culture and tradition as established from the research findings. Therefore, without change in the attitudes of men and women with regard to each other’s rights, there is no legislation that can achieve genuine gender equality.