CESCRA succeeded in getting a funding from American Jewish World Service to implement its project on Women land and Property Rights in Bunyoro Region in Mid- Western Uganda. This funding is significant because it will support a unique project looking at women’s land and property rights in the context of oil and gas.
Women in Uganda disproportionately constitute majority of the population leaving in poverty due to the social economic factors that perpetuate gender inequalities including unequal access to land and other means of production. At grass root level, the promotion of gender equality in land ownership and access, economic benefits of the oil and gas exploration, drilling and refinery, equal compensation and access to justice where women are unjustly treated, will increase women benefits from the oil and gas sector. At multilateral company level, targeted focus on gender aspects of social corporate responsibility can encourage companies to support gender equality programmes or gender related services. At national macro-economic and policy implementation level, mainstreaming gender equality issues in oil and gas revenue investment, equal and meaningful employment in the oil and gas sector and ensuring an effective and gender equality friendly policy and action frameworks in place and implemented can indeed uplift women and men’s condition out of poverty.
The presence of oil in Bunyoro region provides new economic opportunities for women to improve their socio- economic status. However, the realisation of this and addressing negative impact of oil and gas on women socio-economic status is apparently hampered by lack of adequate implementation of gender equality policies and laws. Women continue to face discriminatory practices at family and society level which deny women equal access to opportunities and resources such as land and other property and access to redress where women are abused. Many times women are left out of consultative processes requiring participation of communities and this affects the ability to have women specific concerns addressed and their views incorporated into planning documents.
Centre for Economic Social Cultural Rights in Africa (CESCRA) envisions that a project specifically seeking to increase women’s awareness and knowledge of their land rights, compensation processes and improved participation in debates and decisions regarding oil and gas will greatly advance the protection of women land and property rights and realisation of socio-economic benefits from oil and gas. CESCRA is out to strengthen the capacity of women from the grassroots and amply their voices.