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DIGGING DEEP. THE IMPACT OF UGANDA’S LAND RUSH ON WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Land – its access, control and ownership – lies at the heart of power relationships within Uganda.
The struggle for land is deeply intertwined with the struggle for women’s rights. Women’s access to and control over resources and economic decision making is fundamental to the achievement of their rights. Despite some progress, inequality between women and men in ownership and control of land remains stark. Women’s rights organisations (WROs) in Uganda have identified changing patterns of land use as a major problem affecting women across the country. While land has long been a locus of conflict and dissent, the most recent wave of dispute is caused by what has been termed the land rush or land grabs – investors purchasing or leasing land for mining or the production of cash crops. The economic ideology, espoused by governments throughout Africa and beyond, is that increased foreign direct investment and the commodification of agriculture will create a more developed and prosperous economy with jobs and wealth. The reality for many rural women has been very different.

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Land Grabbing and Oil Industry, Implications for Women’s Land Rights and Oil Industry in Uganda

The discovery of oil in any country is met with joy and jubilation for its prospective contribution to development. This is no different for Uganda. The need for land to pave way for oil exploitation and exploration as well as speculative investment has generated a challenge of land acquisition which in this paper I have considered to be land grabbing. The phenomenon of land grabbing has been widely researched in the agricultural sector because of the scale and size of land taken over in the process of land acquisition and much less in the oil and extractive industry. This paper explores the drivers of oil related land grabbing, the impact of land grabbing on women’s land rights and the implications of land grabbing related conflicts on the oil industry in Uganda. The paper concludes that land grabbing is real, the drivers are both institutional- state led, has impacted women’s land rights and livelihoods negatively, and that the impact on the oil industry are largely destructive for the success of the oil industry.

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