Notes to broadcasters on family assets:

    | January 12, 2009

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    In last week’s FRW, the story “Women fight for equal land rights” examined how the rights of African women to own land continue to be violated, especially when a couple divorces or the husband dies. Much like this week’s story on a woman’s right to control family assets, it looked at the role of the legal system and the efforts of advocacy organizations to educate women on their rights, and have these rights realized in practice.

    Here are some Farm Radio International scripts that deal with women’s right to own and control land and other assets:
    “Promote gender equality and empower women” (Package 78, Number 3, July 2006)
    “Women, property and inheritance” (Package 73, Number 4, January 2005)
    “Land ownership rights: Access denied – Why women need equal access to land” (Package 57, Number 9, October 2000)

    You may wish to host a program that offers women whose right to land and other assets has been violated a chance to tell their story. An interview with an advocacy organization could add value to this program. (Such an organization may also help you contact women who wish to share their story). Some points to investigate are:
    -What are the customary practices regarding financial decisions in local households?
    -What laws govern household finances, and how do customary practices compare with the law?
    -What do women contribute to the household finances (e.g. what sort of work do they do)?
    -What financial responsibilities to women have (e.g. to grow or purchase food, to pay school fees)?

    Some questions for individual women:
    -At what point were they excluded from financial decision making?
    -What were the repercussions for the family of the woman being excluded from decision making?
    -Did the woman try to negotiate with her husband for more control over the family finances and, if so, what was the result?
    -What organizations or legal bodies could support the woman to improve her situation?

    The Notes to Broadcasters for last week’s story on land rights provide further information and program ideas on women’s rights: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/01/05/notes-to-broadcasters-on-women%E2%80%99s-land-rights/.