FRW news in brief

    | September 16, 2013

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    Women in Botswana win landmark right to inherit under customary law

    The Botswana Court of Appeal upheld this week the right of women to inherit under customary law, thereby ending the tradition that males should be sole heirs of property.

    Chief Justice Ian Kirby firmly rejected the tradition that favoured only male heirs. He ruled that “any customary law or rule which discriminates … solely on the basis of gender would not be in accordance with humanity, morality or natural justice.”

    Priti Patel, deputy director of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, said, “The judgment today by the Court of Appeal made it clear that women are not second-class citizens in Botswana.”

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    FRW ran a story on this case in October 2012. You can read the story, Women found equal under constitution, in issue #221, at:

    Tanzania adopts irrigation law to help farmers battle climate change

    Tanzania’s Parliament has passed a new law to promote better use of irrigation water.

    The introduction to the law states that irrigation development is crucial, since rain-fed agriculture is affected by drought and floods. These weather events, which are worsened by climate change, significantly hurt small-scale farmers’ efforts to be food secure.

    Christopher Chiza is the Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives. He said, “We would like to tap every single drop of water available in our country and use it productively for irrigation purposes.”

    The law will put in place a system to enable farmers’ groups to own government-built irrigation infrastructure.

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    Burkinabé journalists plan to make farming ‘cool’ again

    Agriculture is a central part of life in Burkina Faso. But small-scale farmers are often isolated and seldom have the opportunity to share their experiences and solutions with others.

    The newly-formed Burkinabé Association of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators is planning to address this situation. It aims to improve Burkina Faso’s agricultural communications.

    The Association’s mandate is to increase media coverage of rural issues. It plans to reach out to as many people as possible through social media and a multimedia website. Members also want to involve youth and organize field visits for urban children.

    Founder Inoussa Maiga says, “We want to make agriculture ‘cool’ again.”

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