IGAD: its history and development
ILC Africa is a Regional Platform of the International Land Coalition (ILC), a global alliance of civil society and intergovernmental organisations working together to promote secure and equitable access to and control over land for poor women and men.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland’s international cooperation agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). In operating with other federal offices concerned, SDC is responsible for the overall coordination of development activities and cooperation with Eastern Europe, as well as for the humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation.
The Government of the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sveriges regering) is the national cabinet and the supreme executive authority of Sweden. The short-form name Regeringen ("the Government") is used both in the Fundamental Laws of the Realm and in the vernacular, while the long-form is only used in international treaties.
Even though women are the primary users of agricultural land in most African communities, the system of patriarchy which dominates social organization has tended to discriminate against women when it comes to ownership and control of land resources. Although most legal frameworks (including the Constitutions) for the IGAD Member States are progressive towards gender equality, challenges remain, ineffective implementation and enforcement of the laws and policies by the agencies provided with such responsibility. Even in countries where good laws exist, women frequently do not enjoy their rights to access and control productive resources. Implementation is too often hindered by sociocultural norms and attitudes. As such, women’s land rights are not well promoted and protected because attitudes towards women’s land rights at family, community level, and institutional levels have not shifted in a manner that enables the translation of policies into practice. It is critical that the land policy and laws be reviewed where there is clear manifestation of discrimination while, emerging policies, laws and programmes integrate gender perspectives in terms of ownership, access to and control of land. But it is now more crucial to look beyond legal and policy reforms and adopt broad based social change towards women’s land rights.
It is against this background that the IGAD Land Governance Programme and International Land Coalition-Africa (ILC-Africa) are organizing this conference.