Official seeks review of patriarchial laws against women’s property rights

Thu, May 25, 2023
By editor


DR Akinola Olakunde, Director of Urban and Regional Development Department in the Ministry of Works and Housing has called for a review of patriarchal and prohibitive laws that prevent women and youths from owning property.

Olakunde made this call in a keynote address at a Workshop tagged: ‘Bridging the Gender Gap in Housing for Women and Youths’ organised by the Girls and Women in Nigeria Entrepreneurship Club (GWINEC) on Thursday in Abuja.

He said good quality housing is critical to many of the United Nations sustainable development goals.

Olakunde said a lot of constraints work against women and youths in widening the housing gap, but chief among these constraints was the patriarchy conceptual belief which supports male dominance.

According to him this has far reaching impact on women’s involvement in housing delivery.

Other factors he added are lack of access to credit facilities, non-inclusion in formulation of housing policies and programmes, traditional notions.Presuppositions and beliefs, lack of access to information, legal and socio-cultural issues.

“Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, it is also a keystone of a prosperous, modern economy that provides sustainable inclusive growth.

“It is essential for ensuring that men, women and youths can contribute fully for the betterment of societies and economies.

“It is therefore recommended the need to strengthen national legal protection for women’s housing rights based on non-discrimination and equality.

“Promote the enforcement of laws that protect women’s property, simplify land management processes to streamline titling process and reduce cost,” Olakunde said.

In her remarks, Hajiya Karina Babangida, Chairman of GWINEC said the world’s urban population is expected to grow by 2.5 billion by 2050.

According to Babangida, women make up the majority of the urban population, yet women’s perspectives and voices are under-represented.

“Women all over the country have the highest number of small-bussinesses. The contribution of women to the economic well-being of Nigeria is enormous and much greater than they are given credit for.

“They are economic assets to their families against the harsh realities. The ultimate goal of this project is to create an avenue to motivate, encourage and also provide secured housing projects for women.

“Focus on how to simplify and train Nigerian women on all the legal procedures to own a house and land as well as increase number of women in the housing sector.

“Provide an avenue where government will listen to the hardship encountered by female headed households or single mothers and widows in paying rent,” Babangida said.

She further said GWINEC would create partnership with Government and Private Sector in building affordable housing under cooperative scheme.

In closing, the group chairman appealled to the ministry of works and housing to support the project in a collaborative partnership to help women own houses.

On his part, Mr Abdulhamid Hamid, Chief Executive Officer of Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI), said the workshop served as a platform for collaborative problem solving.

“We have gathered experts, policy makers and community leaders to find sustainable solutions to bridge the gender gap in housing.

“Together we can formulate innovative strategies, develop policies and implement actionable plans that will empower women and youth to safe and affordable housing.”

Hamid added that safe, secure, affordable and appropriate house and home was a measure of the quality of life that every human aspired to.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that GWINEC is a non-partisan organisation advocating on behalf of working-class women and female entrepreneurs to strengthen their impact on the nation’s public policy.(NAN)