MBABANE:Colani Hlatswako, the One Billion Rising Campaign Africa Coordinator said women in the rural areas are the most affected every time land disputes and unlawful evictions erupt such that some are left homeless.
Speaking to this Swaziland News on Tuesday, the Coordinator first condemned the land dispute at LaMgabhi and Luyengo that resulted to two men losing their lives after a dramatic shootout between former Public Works Minister Ntuntuko Dlamini and senior members of Luyengweni royal kraal.
Hlatswako said as One Billion Rising Africa Campaign they were deeply concerned with the land disputes not only at Luyengweni and LaMgabhi but other parts of the country saying in one way or the other, it end up affecting women particularly widows who are normally dispossessed of their land once their husbands died.
“The issue of land is a very serious one that becomes a regular feature whenever issues of women abuse are discussed, we feel government is not putting enough efforts in fighting women abuse. Government should address the real issues that force others to resort to forcefully dispossessing widows and orphans their land. The situation in this country suggests that many people are affected by poverty and any country with a high poverty rate is likely to see a rise in cases of violence. Once a country is affected by poverty and hunger, people then identify targets where they can grab properties and other goods from vulnerable people as means of survival, some will target widows knowing that they are vulnerable” said the Coordinator.
Hlatswako then advised government to address the issue of poverty and unemployment including making sure that those who are employed are well paid to survive. She also advised the various institutions working on gender issues to address the plight of women including educating traditional leaders on women rights.
“In most instances, women rush to traditional leaders (Imiphakatsi) seeking protection whenever greedy people grab their land, however, some traditional leaders are part of this, they are still undermining women saying they cannot own land. The vulnerable women are then forced to seek protection from the courts, and this is costly for a poor woman financially struggling to survive. We therefore called upon the various institutions even government departments established to protect women to play their role in this regard” she said.
One Billion Rising Campaign Africa