The first words that I associate with the noun-land are violence, women, HIV & AIDS, evictions, class, nationality, global capital. Yet the struggle for land rights has been at the core of global capitalism for many centuries from the days of slavery, colonialism up to the present global economic system. Rosa Luxemburg in her writings in the early 1900s, on Accumulation of Capital asserted that the process of accumulating wealth in the Global South had been accompanied by violence and the capitalists were not even satisfied with the wealth that they would have accumulated, hence the urge to get more resources. This can even be related to the 21st century global events, with relation to the Iraq crisis, Darfur, just to mention a few.
In urban Sub Saharan Africa, lack of adequate land for shelter has become one of the factors deterring growth in this region, hence the growth of urban slums. Yet, global capital is not concerned about the slums, but where it can get more quality land for its projects at the expense of local people’s habitat.
Coupled with HIV & AIDS, cases of wife inheritance and women’s loss of control of their land become the main tune of the day. Capital and patriarchy do go hand in hand.
Sub Saharan Africa has to deal with the question of land before it’s too late, and social movements have an obligation to put pressure on policy makers to restore the poor people’s dignity

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Sub Saharan Africa is indeed fraught with many issues and problems in regards to its land. I would love to hear more from you on some of these concerns and perhaps you might like to join the Zimbabwe Café which invites members to offer a more complete and comprehensive picture of Zimbabwe's rich and dynamic past, present and future. The Zimbabwe Café aims to spotlight the unheard voices of women leaders and changemakers from Zimbabwe and all those who support them. I think you would be a strong voice in sharing with us the beauty and not so beautiful of Zimbabwe, and exchange ideas with your sisters to bring about change.

The issue of women owning land and having a right to their own shelter is so challenging. Even as little as 30 years ago in the USA when my sister went to buy her own home she was almost denied as there was no man involved in signing the papers. Fortunately, she has managed as a single woman all these years to handle her own affairs. She is educated and could provide her own way. I also feel that women should be given their rights to the land as well as men and that they need the education and access to financial resources as much as their brothers. Thank you for sharing.

Yes, I agree with you, Land must be as your, mine and our right of shelter to live. From your paper, I can understand how much you are facing tradegic from your land. I would love to hear more story about your land in the future.

Thank you for sharing with this wonderful network.

With Love and Regards Sunita Basnet

True talk Fadzie. Land has indeed been associated with such negative and has continued to be. However, i would have loved to read about when land personally means to you, your relation to land.

Peace! Fatima

Thanks Fatima for the valuable comments. Personally what I wrote in the article reflects my own situation. Maybe it did not come out like that, but that's how I relate to the land issue.

as a single mom in my early 30s, land is indeed important to me, as I have ambitions of owning my own house, in an area that I desire.But the land in that specific area I desire is very expensive and unfortunately my government does not make it easier for working women like me to purchase the land that I want ,because the private developers are already selling the land at market price of which I will not be able to afford

So my article is a reflection of what I go through, the frustrations I face in trying to access land for shelter, but it's also the story of so many women out there especially in Sub Saharan Africa who are trying to get land that they desire......

But it's a war between capital and doing what is right for the citizens!

Fadzie,

Thank you for writing about this important subject. I think many people forget that the majority of people on the planet live in rural areas where land is their most crucial asset. And since women do the majority of farming in much of the world, it is even more important that they have access to land, and are able to control what is grown and how the assets from the land are used for the family.

There was a great article on the front page of the Christian Science Monitor last week about land and Africa: "Africa's continental divide: land disputes" - African land reform, plot by plot, may be the foundation for solving so much else – from famine to poverty to genocide.

Best, Radha

Radha Friedman