In observance of International Rural Women’s Day on Oct. 15, Landesa in Uttar Pradesh organized an outreach drive and programming to raise awareness about land rights and give rural women a platform to share their experiences.
Across the three districts where Landesa works in Uttar Pradesh, more than 2,000 women assembled to advocate for stronger land rights for rural women. Many were patta, or land title, recipients themselves, and spoke of their experience now that they have secure rights to land.
Mithila Devi, a formerly landless woman from a rural village in Mirzapur District, described how Landesa helped her appeal to local officials for a land title of her own. She said her experience had motivated her to help others do the same.
Other participants had attended land legal literacy trainings organized by Landesa, which aim to educate single women about their rights to own and inherit land. Gayatri Devi said she hadn’t realized so many other women had been struggling to exercise their land rights. She said that the experience helped motivate her to persist in agitating for her land rights in her home village.
To further build awareness of the importance of land rights for rural women, Landesa launched a Development Communication Van to visit outlying areas of Uttar Pradesh and distribute information and resources related to women’s land rights and social security schemes. The ongoing campaign aims to reach tens of thousands of villagers in three districts in Uttar Pradesh.