Gender and Land Rights Database

Uganda

Civil society and indigenous people’s organizations advocating for equality of land rights

  • The Uganda Land Alliance (ULA) is an non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1995 as a consortium of 37 national and international NGOs and institutions lobbying for pro-poor land laws. Among its activities, the ULA pursues lobbying and advocacy work on women’s access to land, women’s representation on the land bodies, the rights of tenants, the issue of the lost counties and customary land. After the new Land Law was enacted, the ULA started monitoring the implementation of policies and structures established by the Land Act to ensure that the new land institutions operate in a gender-sensitive manner. 
  • ULA has campaigned to have mandatory co-ownership for spouses and for spouse’s consensus on the transfer of land. It also runs a Land Rights Centre which carried out right advocacy and handled 54 individual cases on behalf of women and 31 cases on behalf of men (11). (http://www.landcoalition.org/partners/ppula.htm)
  • Action For Development (ACFODE) is an indigenous, voluntary, non-governmental women’s interest and development organization founded in 1995. Its activities include lobbying and advocacy, training and capacity building, information dissemination and sensitization campaigns, networking and community mobilization.(http://www.wougnet.org/Profiles/acfode.html)
  • The Uganda Women’s Lawyers’ Association (FIDA-U) is an indigenous, non-partisan, non-profit civil society organization of Ugandan women lawyers. It aims to achieve observance of the law, human rights, gender equality and equity. Its main activities include litigation, mediation, arbitration, counselling, legal awareness, training, research and advocacy (http://www.wougnet.org/Profiles/fidau.html).
  • The National Association of Women in Uganda (NAWOU) was formed in 1992 by members of non-governmental and community-based organizations. Its mission is to promote a coordinated network of member organizations for efficient use of resources in order to improve the status and living conditions of women in Uganda. NAWOU works with and supports rural-based, subsistence agriculture women’s communities (http://www.nawou.interconnection.org/index.htm).
  • The Ugandan Gender Resource Centre (UGRC) was established in 1991 to articulate the relevance of the principles of gender equality and equity to the development process through training, research, documentation, information dissemination, economic empowerment, capacity building and advocacy. It is also focused on strengthening rural-based organizations and networking (http://www.wougnet.org/Profiles/ugrc.html).

Local decision-making organizations and women’s representation in them

  • Any group of persons is entitled to form a Communal Land Association for any purpose connected with communal ownership and management of land. Section 17 of the 1998 Land Act stipulates that one-third of the officers of the Communal Land Associations have to be women (5).

Legal Information and capacity development on land rights

  • Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have provided legal support for women with respect to property inheritance. ActionAid Uganda, which is part of the Uganda Land Alliance, runs a Land Rights Centre which carries out rights advocacy through creating awareness and taking up individual cases. The centre has handled 54 cases on behalf of women and 31 cases on behalf of men. Twenty-one of those cases have been resolved (16).
  • The objectives of The Land Rights Information Centre are to: i) establish the Uganda Land Alliance and its partners as land rights watchdogs for marginalized groups and people living in poverty and as centres for disseminating information on land law and policy or other related issues; ii) provide legal and technical advice on land laws and policies including consultation on the policy development processes and research (9) (http://www.landcoalition.org/program/kpulalric.htm).
  • NGOs working through networks of community-based organizations (CBOs) have conducted workshops on women’s equal rights, radio programmes on human rights, often in local languages, and training local councillors, law enforcement officers and members of the judiciary (11).
  • The Uganda Law Society, Action for Development (ACFODE), the Uganda Land Alliance, the National Association of Women in Uganda (NAWOU), and the Ugandan Gender Resource Centre (UGRC) all conduct workshops on women’s land rights (11).
  • Various NGOs have built a network of paralegals in the country’s districts to educate women and men at grassroots levels on human rights law, the legal system, the most important legal provisions and mediation skills. Individuals who have been equipped with paralegal skills help raise and spread awareness of women’s and men’s land rights. The paralegal networks cover almost half of the country, constituting the most extensive paralegal network in East Africa to implement, educate and raise awareness at community levels about women’s rights to land, housing and inheritance (11).

Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography