Channel female leadership for sustainable land management

Historically, women in Kenyan communities have been the stewards of the land.

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In a nation where land is not only a precious resource but also a cultural heritage, sustainable land management and conservation are pivotal for preserving Kenya's natural wealth for generations to come.

At the forefront of these efforts are women, whose contributions and leadership are instrumental in safeguarding the country's ecosystems and ensuring a sustainable future.

Historically, women in Kenyan communities have been the stewards of the land, drawing upon indigenous knowledge and sustainable practices to maintain the delicate balance between human needs and environmental preservation. As the custodians of their households, women ensure food security for their families.

However, women face significant challenges in land ownership. Land is mostly owned by men, limiting women's access to financial resources and decision-making power.

Despite these hurdles, women across Kenya are rising to the challenge and leading grassroots conservation initiatives that are making a tangible difference in their communities. Women are at the core of helping their communities to mitigate the impacts of climate change and ensure food security in the face of changing weather patterns and environmental challenges.

To fully harness the potential of women's leadership in sustainable land management, it is essential to create an enabling environment through gender-responsive policies. These policies should ensure women's equal rights to own, inherit, and control land, as well as facilitate their access to financial resources for sustainable land management projects.

It is critical that policies facilitate women’s access to credit, loans, and grants for sustainable land management projects. Policies targeting funding for women-led initiatives and organisations would be game-changing.

Moreover, policies should mandate women's equal representation in decision-making bodies, such as land management committees and conservation boards, to ensure their perspectives and priorities are considered. By implementing these gender-responsive policies, governments can unlock the potential of women to drive positive change for both communities and ecosystems.

The writer is principal, Intellecap Advisory Services. 

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