AfDB Says It Will Help Improve Land Ownership Rights For African Women

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Written by Dana Sanchez

There are at least two African countries where a married woman must get her husband’s permission to obtain identity documents.

However there are many African countries where women have unequal access to property, land and tenure rights. This hinders women from contributing to their countries’ economic growth, the African Development Bank says.

The AfDB finance institution was established to contribute to the economic development and social progress of African countries. It provides financing for African governments and private companies investing in its African member countries.

So how much money are we talking about?

In 2015, AfDB disbursed $8.8 billion US in 240 operations — a 25 percent increase over 2014. The bank was established in 1963.

From Coast Week. Story by Xinhua.

African Development Bank (AfDB) plans to help African countries repeal gender discriminatory laws in order to increase female participation in their economies, bank officials said.

AfDB Vice President Geraldine Fraser Moleketi told a women’s forum in Nairobi that it will empower women parliamentarians to amend laws that discriminate against women.

“Africa has witnessed significant progress on gender equality but there are still areas such as the legal status and land property rights where more is yet to be done,” Moleketi said during the launch of the Women in Parliament Council.

The council will convene active female parliamentarians with other stakeholders to discuss and provide innovative solutions to the challenges related to women’s property rights in order to achieve economic development.

Moleketi said that there is evidence that women face legal impediments that impact negatively on the economy.

“We want to improve the legal status of women in society so as to build an inclusive economy in Africa,” the vice president said.

She noted that there are at least two countries in Africa where married women require the permission of their husbands in order to obtain identity cards.

“It means that if the women don’t have identity cards they can’t access formal financial services such as loans,” she said.

AfDB East Africa Resource Center Director General Gabriel Negatu said his organization believes that the continent’s long-term competitiveness depends on how well Africa empowers its women.

“In many African countries, however, unequal access to property, discriminatory laws including land and tenure rights hinder women from contributing even more to their countries’ growth and well-being,” Negatu said.

Read more at Coast Week.