UK women’s rights charity Womankind Worldwide are calling for an increase support to those affected by land grabs in rural Uganda in a new campaign titled Reclaiming Stolen Livelihoods.
All donations made to their ‘Reclaiming Stolen Livelihoods’ campaign between today and the 28th of May 2019, will be doubled by the UK Government as part of the UK Aid Match initiative.
Three quarters of women in Uganda earn their living as farmers but unfairly, make up just 7-20 per cent of landowners. As documented in a powerful report by Womankind last year, Ugandan women are experiencing violent evictions from their land leaving them unable to feed their families and their voices silenced in any negotiations about compensation or resettlement. In addition, local women have also reported sexual and physical violence both during evictions and afterwards from the men coming to work in the new industrial plants.
This is exactly what happened to Betty. Her husband was blinded during an early morning eviction from their home and land.
“We heard gunshots and shouting.”
“Everyone was rushing; fleeing with whatever they had.”
“I just ran with my children.”
Sadly Betty is not alone. Currently 300,000 women in rural have been evicted from their homes, or are facing eviction, and up to a million women are expected to be affected in the next six years. The majority of these evictions will directly impact women who rely on growing crops to feed their family and raise money for other essentials such as clothes, schooling, and medical bills.
But in the face of forced evictions, a new movement of brave women is coming together to resist the land grabs. Womankind Worldwide partners National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) and National Association for Women’s Action in Development (NAWAD), are empowering marginalised women to reclaim their rights and rebuild their livelihoods. By joining forces, they’re supporting women in rural Uganda to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.
Donations to ‘Reclaiming Stolen Livelihoods’ will support legal advice which will ensure women get legal ownership of their land, as well as securing compensation should any threats to their land remain. Donations will also support local women to set up new income generating activities such as selling goods, making handicrafts and where possible, growing plants and trees to build homes, cook food and feed their families.
For further information or to donate to ‘Reclaiming Stolen Livelihoods’, click here.