NIGERIA / ECOWAS: ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF RURAL WOMEN OF THE KILIMANJARO INITIATIVE
Strengthening the initiative's platforms, identifying problems, finding solutions and updating them so that they can move forward were the objectives of the Kilimanjaro Initiative's annual meeting of rural women on 4 December 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria.
Launched by a group of rural women in 2016 following the phenomenal rise of Mount Kilimanjaro, which is the highest mountain in Africa, this initiative aims to bring to the attention of decision-makers the demands of women farmers on the continent, who face many problems in the daily practice of agriculture in their respective countries.
These difficulties, often relative from one country to another, all have a focal point, which is women's access to land in Africa. Indeed, overall, women own less than 20% of the land on the continent while they are the driving force behind the agricultural activity that is supposed to drive the continent's development. In 10 countries surveyed, only 12% of women on average own land individually compared to 31% of men. In addition, women continue to experience difficulties in accessing land in addition to gender-based violence.
In view of all this, it appears that strong land rights could propel women towards economic success, a strong negotiating authority and financial independence, which could partially reduce violence against them, reduce extreme poverty and hunger, but also empower all women and girls. To this end, the rural women of the Kilimanjaro initiative at this 2019 annual meeting all came to the conclusion that they must now be included in the decision-making process of agricultural policies for greater empowerment.
For the United Nations' sustainable development objectives are one of the main processes underlying women's rights and global change, they sufficiently address the issue of land rights and aim to achieve equal rights to own and control land by 2030.
To continue to be able to wage this fight calmly, these women will first of all have to find a strong identity to be able to speak with one voice in discussions with decision-makers, organize meetings between the actors of the different platforms for better communication between them and with the states, organize themselves at local and then national level, and then have weight at regional and continental levels in order to meet the challenges of women's access to land.
It is on these resolutions that the women of the Kilimanjaro initiative separated this year, meeting at the next assembly for a review that we hope will be most praiseworthy because as she herself says, no women, no food on the table