Empower Women [opinion]

LAND OWNERSHIP brings about security and a state of stability.

It is on land that one can till and grow crops for sale and consumption and it is on the same piece of land that one can rear animals for sale and consumption.

It is also on the same land that one can settle.

First Lady Christine Kaseba is therefore, right that women should own land in Zambia without restrictions.

One impediment to women accessing land is that commercial banks do not entrust women with loans that can facilitate acquisition of land, raising issues of collateral as a prerequisite.

For Dr Kaseba to implore the Bank of Zambia to ensure that commercial banks in Zambia consider giving out loans to women without collateral, is a timely suggestion in addressing some of the setbacks.

In her words, women are more trustworthy and as such banks need to consider them as collateral in themselves without worrying about them defaulting.

Dr Kaseba’s thought is an affirmation of President Michael Sata’s recognition that women can develop in their endeavours if they own land.

In this pursuit, President Sata recently directed the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources to liaise with the Ministry of Gender and Child Development to help women own land.

Only when women secure rights to land and accommodation, will they become less vulnerable to gender based violence and diseases like HIV AIDS.

Without land, a women are vulnerable to abuse as they are at the mercy of those who house them.

With Habitat for Humanity highlighting a 1.3 million urban house deficit, poverty can only be alleviated when women who look after children, own land.

We, therefore, expect accelerated response to the First lady’s cry on behalf of Zambian women for them to, not only be empowered, but to contribute to food security.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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