Thursday, 19 January 2012

Human Security and Feminist Perspective of Land Tenure Security in South Africa

Human security is security that is derived from ensuring the provision of basic needs for the individual. The South African government is supposed to provide security for its citizen as a social contract that is embedded within the 1996 constitution of the country. The government should look at creating adequate sustainable development land programme targeting women in rural areas and communal land available to be utilized by women and skill enhancement programmes available that will create security amongst them and to promote human security. There should be a creation of two types of classes amongst the group
of women. Indeed those who hold the education to challenge their rights regarding land with the government and those who can negotiate their rights through the democratic institutions and those who have their rights to speak without fear with the traditional authorities. The aim of class is in accordance with human security. It is the economic class that will shape the social order of the women and the way in which they approach the government in the cry to be recognized even by traditional authorities. Human security discourse is relatively social in understanding social change is important in critical security studies approach between society and the state in human needs as fundamental to the possibility of anything like secure social order. It is imperative for any government to adequately review their policy programmes aimed for gender equality as a critical security approach most likely to have it as a human security matter as a political concern. Not only on a theoretical matter but also practically to make the importance of any social threat such as, land issues, diseases, and other social ills to be approached as critical issues. The South African government more importantly has pledged itself within the policies and development programmes (White Paper, 1997) on Land Reform programmes, The Land and Agrarian Reform Project (LARP), Promoting Women’s Access to Land (PWAL) and the Land and Redistribution for Agricultural Development sub-programme (LRAD) to name a few, as part of their objectives to promote gender equality. Theoretically there are pledges that is promoted by government as part of LRAD leading the certain features that includes objectives and strategies initiated by Beijing Platform for action (1995) and the convention on the Elimination on all forms of Discrimination Against Women(CEDAW). In theory, the government of South Africa mentions and has highlighted the idea to put women in the forefront and to improve the status and promote gender equality. The land debate in South Africa should be critically assessed in that there is lack of institution created on the grassroot to speed up the process of restitution and redistribution. The government seemed to have given up to those commitments of promoting access to land and securing land tenure towards women.

A gender-responsive law and policy reform programme aimed at restructuring gender relations with respect to land is needed. In so doing, some analyst in arguing for women’s independent land rights, the role of culture including tradition and religion in the continued denial of women’s inheritance rights should be ignored. The reform programme should therefore include, customary and traditional land allocation should be central as independent entities, gender equality inheritance and the issue of title deeds should be established. Land rights through occupancy should be recognized with or without title deeds so that women cannot be dispossessed in divorce or widowhood, a uniform inheritance law should be established and lastly the programme should be situated within the wider development programme of the state to ensure increased income for women. Women did not inherit land from their parents and only had the right to use lands inherited or purchases by their husbands. Thus in cases where a woman is widowed, land would revert to her sons, but the widow would retain exploitation as long as the sons were not adults or married. Much literature on feminist view, show that they have opted for a right’s based system to work with women movements to improve their security of tenure. Much evidence is recorded in Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia as government there has placed policies to improve the access and ownership of land and security of tenure for women. These feminist movements aim to fight and support the rights of women to inherit, purchase and own land in their own names and obtain title deeds. On the position of inheritance of land rights by women in Southern Africa, the literature review is also dedicated to the information of women’s position in this regard. Experts support the idea that it is women organizations that need to be strengthened as an integral part of land reform and need a fair tenure system. The priorities for women are located in different areas, home, land, corporate world, agriculture and domestic markets. Women would tend to threat land as an economic asset. Support is obtained through production and food security, or through selling, lending and trading land in return for food or money to be used for household support. This claim supports the definition of human security as its interest lies on the emphasis of people centred efforts to address basic needs such as food, housing, health and education. Food security has a major impact on the relation of land and women in particular to feel secured about the asset they as a production resource. Women make it their mission those who plough on family land to produce food that the family is dependent upon.

1 comment:

  1. Women rights should be protected and recognized especially concerning land tenure and security. Government should be able to address this concern since, this is an old news for everyone in Africa.