New Law a Glimmer of Hope for Women's Land Rights in Malawi

Wearing a long white tunic covered with bright-coloured patterns, Aminata Berthe bends to water a plot of lettuce with a can in this village near Bamako, the Malian capital.

"I'm the first one in my home to wake up and the last to go to bed," she said, pausing to catch her breath. She has been farming the land for three years as part of a women's vegetable cooperative, but doesn't have the right to own it.

"The land we're farming belongs to the husband of one of the cooperative members," she explained.

In Malian society, men hold primary rights of access to and control over land and decide which parts, if any, women are allowed to farm.

But worsening climate conditions such as unpredictable rainfall and prolonged drought have increased competition for land, leading men to encroach on land traditionally farmed by women.

http://news.trust.org/item/20170130105205-ni408/

Swathi Sridharan

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