Front Page Africa reported on a panel discussion about legal gaps in Liberia's land rights laws that harm women's rights to land, featuring remarks from Landesa Land and Gender Specialist Izatta Nagbe.
Last September, Liberia passed the long-awaited Land Rights Act, extending land rights to millions of rural Liberians for the first time. Hailed as one of the “most progressive” land reform laws on the African Continent, the Act helps strengthen women's and rural communities' voice, bargaining power, and sense of security through legal land rights. Now, the important work of spreading awareness of the new law to all Liberians begins. Landesa, along with community partners, is working to conduct land rights trainings across the country. Rita and Lorpu, two women from different counties, share how they learned about and plan to... read more →
By Tyler Roush In a watershed moment for land rights in Liberia and across Africa, President George Weah on Sept. 19 signed into law a land reform bill that extends land rights to millions of rural Liberians. The Land Rights Act ensures, for the first time, that the land rights of rural Liberians are recognized, protected, and guaranteed by law – an essential ingredient for these communities to achieve secure land rights. Under the previous land tenure system, as much as 80 percent of Liberians lived without legally recognized rights to land. The Act includes stronger protections for women’s land... read more →
The election of Liberian President George Weah – the first peaceful, democratic transition of power in Liberia in decades – is the latest sign of hope in a country once racked by violence. Conflict over land was one of the root causes of the Liberian Civil War, which killed an estimated 250,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more. Now, Liberia has an opportunity to emerge from its turbulent history as a success story, by adopting a comprehensive land law that would secure legal protections for customary land rights and greater equity for women. As lawmakers consider the Land Rights... read more →
This blog originally appeared on Land Portal. By Tyler Roush and Emmanuel Urey In the fading afternoon light, Kou Berpa leads a small group out to a patch of land a short distance off of the main road in Ganta, Liberia. The land is strewn with rocks and dried vegetation. The jagged remains of a tree stump consume one corner. It’s easy to miss the green shoots scattered across the grounds – the beginnings of a crop of corn that Kou has planted. The land she’s working isn’t hers – Kou has made an arrangement with a local farmer to... read more →
Meet Martha*, one of thousands of Liberia's women who would benefit from gender-equitable land rights. After her husband died, Martha's land was stolen by her in-laws. By marital custom, Martha's husband had paid a "bride price" when the couple married, meaning that Martha was viewed as property within the marriage. And, as her in-laws insisted, "property cannot own property." Unfortunately, Martha's story is much too common in Liberia, where deeply rooted patriarchal norms impose barriers on women's rights to land. However, there is hope that change is on the horizon. The 2018 election of President George Weah was a watershed moment... read more →