Topic: Advocate the access to land property for rural women
Date and time: May 11, 2016 from 4 – 5 pm. The time of the session was agreed by every participants due to their schedules
Participants: 10 participants (Women of the NGO, rural women and men working in civil society)
How was it shared?
In order to allow all the participants to take actively part in the debate, we provided access to Internet via two 3G dongles. The session was informal with a facilitator (me) animating and leading the debate. Before the session, all participants were asked to bring their smartphone or computers, except for rural women.
First session: the presentation of the topic and the reason why it is important to boost the development on a grassroots’ level took less than 10 minutes. The aim was to show the subject that will lead the discussion. Using a clear language mixing French and Lingala (the local language), I intended to embed actively the rural women in the session as they are having some difficulties to speak French but not understand. The aim was to break the language barrier and for the participants to feel free to use any language they wanted to.
Second session: the open discussion was led by me and focused on the question: What do you think on what the access to women on land rights can bring to the community. This part was the most interesting as most of them agreed that woman has the right to own the land by inheritance from her father or husband. The other ones, men essentially was a litlle bit skeptic as they pointed out the traditional inheritance from the ancestors. They thaught it was like throwing away the cultural identity. For women, accessing to the land right was not an act of ignoring the cultural identity but it is what should be done in order to ensure the livelihood of all the community due to the women responsibilities imposed by the same cultural identity.
Third session:To close the session, I asked the prticipants to draw a sheet with 2 columns with the advantages and disadvantages for women accessing to the land property. As they did, it seems like customs is the only thing that cannot ensure women access to the land property.
The Strategy that worked :I sued to ask question according to one participant answer and trying to go beyond and presenting a concrete situation, for example,"what they think about a woman that works her husband land but all the product of this land is the man property" and also"What was the risk if the women get access to the land society for other traditional thinking".This kind of questions allowed the participants to share more and to speak safely about what they thinking and so their experience.
Outcomes :After this thinking exercice, participants identified what could be the advantages of getting access to land to women in rural areas and which strategy they could implement to advocate for that.
They realized that they have to get the customary chiefs in their struggle as they already have the law advocating for them. The aim is to show them how this case could be beneficial for all the community.
My first facilitation practice was unique as most of the time I was listening and trying to raise debate and push participants to reflexion and openess for the sake of the community. I think I was the great winner as I never learnt so much in an hour about my own culture! Besides, this session allowed the participants to discover how they have the power to change things and to make this World better by thei small contribution to reach the development
The first challenge was personal, I was afraid not to be able to raise debate or to keep the discussion interesting.
The second challenge was the time as some participants was late but, fortunately, they caught up very fast.
The third challenge was the logistic, as the power was off, we couldn't make a PowePoint projection. We just speak and explain to the participants clearly by giving the most details possible.
What worked well?
- Small jokes in the beginning of the session and during the debate broke the ice and cooled the tension between man and women so all of them could open up.
- Clear explanations were a guide for them to be focused on the subject.