As part of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection’s platform to enhance members of women civil society organizations, women in cross-border trade and rural women structures’ understanding on land rights and ownership, a 4-day training was recently conducted in Sinoe and Grand Gedeh Counties respectively.
The objective of the training initiative was part of effort in providing vital knowledge on land rights including the capacity of women to demand their rights to participate in the management and administration of community natural resources which are component of the Women’s Economic Empowerment: Building Peace, Promoting Prosperity project.
The intense knowledge-grapping initiative was designed for women and rural women structures in key concession areas particularly relying on extractive industry to include Sinoe, Grand Gedeh, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa and Cape Mount Counties respectively.
The exercise brought together over 60-rural women participants hailing from over 10-local districts and communities with the goal of providing relevant information which are key to the Economic Empowerment of rural women in those counties.
The training was carried out in partnership with the UN Women office in Liberia.
The training concentrated mostly on women’s land rights, the ongoing policy, legal and institutional reforms in the land tenure system in Liberia, likewise other topics strategically linked to the advantages of women’s land ownership.
Presenting the overview and background of the training, the Gender and Land Desk Coordinator of the Peacebuilding Fund-project management Unit (PBF-PMU) at Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Franklin N. Gonlepa, in a passionate manner informed participants that the exercise was intended to equip women to proficiently participate in the administration and management of community’s natural resource including land.
Importantly, he asserted that the training was meant to enable women realize that land is an imperative economic and social resource, therefore, they should strive to acquire land; suggesting that ownership in Fee Simple or Tenancy by the Entirety could be a smart decision.
The Training was held separately in Sinoe and Grand Gedeh Counties, and participants were recruited from various communities. Collectively, sixty- persons attended the training and it was primarily designed as a Training Of Trainers (TOT).
The first round of training which was held in Tubmanburg, Bomi County in June brought together at least 30-women from various rural women structures hailing from Bomi, Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties respectively.
Given the nature of women’s role in the economy and the risk of social tensions due to economic inequality in concession areas, the project was designed to focus on two key targets for women’s economic empowerment: cross border traders and rural women living in communities affected by concession agreements
As identified in Liberia’s Priority Plan, economic marginalization was one of the key drivers of Liberia’s conflict and it was to be an indicator of the challenges of peace building and reconciliation. Based on such analyst, Women, and more specifically rural women were identified amongst the most marginalized and amongst the groups living in situations of great fragility and vulnerability due to economic insecurity.
At the same time, it was recognized that women have played and continue to play a key role in maintaining and or creating social cohesion in communities. For these reasons, Liberia’s National Action Plan for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 emphasized the inclusion of women in Liberia’s economic revitalization and specifically prioritizes women’s participation and involvement in the local management of the community’s natural resources, as well as the economic empowerment of women in cross border trade.
In addition, the two specific concerns were highlighted by the Government of Liberia as strategic objectives for achieving gender equality within Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation.