While opening a conference on women land rights last week, Mr Daudi Migereko, Uganda’s Minister of Lands, has pleaded with female land owners to seek certificates of customary ownership (CCOs) in order to protect themselves from land problems, reported Uganda’s Daily Monitor.
“Nudity is not the answer; there are other better ways of resolving women’s land issues other than undressing. In the past women undressing in public was a taboo and it was often used to scare men as a curse. The efficacy of such measures during these times is questionable. What works is legal papers.
For example, had they had CCOs, this would not have been an issue,” Mr Migereko explained during the conference organised by Action Aid Uganda in Kampala.
Mr Migereko was responding to a trend of Ugandan women who engaged in nude protests to protect their land as part of a long-running land dispute between authorities and the women of Amuru District.
The Dean of Makerere University’s Women and Gender Department, Ms Josephine Ahikire, disagreed saying that for lay women in the rural areas, information about CCOs is unclear.
“I once asked a woman when she last went to the district headquarters and she told me she didn’t have any problem with her husband. This shows that even seeking legal procedures to legally possess land to these women is not known to them,” she said.
“Stripping was a desperate measure because they felt it was the only thing left for them to do and in the end it compelled government to reach an agreement and their land was spared unlike that in Mubende District which today has been sealed off.