Women&Land Overview

Women Overview > Why Land

Why Land?

The centrality of land to human development is unquestionable. Land impacts social welfare and relations, economic and personal security, political alliances, spiritual beliefs, national development – almost every aspect of life is influenced through land. Land is life.

Land has been a long standing struggle in African history for its importance to almost every community. Land is life – without it, African people – the 70% who live in RURAL areas and the 30% in URBAN areas – struggle to survive. The centrality of land to African economic development has been tied to the significance of land resources to cultural and traditional practices.

Land provides security- land for agriculture and crop production provides food and income, and for land for shelter provides a secure place to stay.
In all societies, land provides stability- a place to raise a family, grow crops for nourishment and for income; an asset to use for family or community development; a place for spiritual and family life.

Land is so integral to life, that the struggle over land is at the heart of many conflicts. Wars are waged over land ownership or occupation, communities are destroyed because land is taken from them, entire countries face years of turmoil when their land becomes infertile or is taken over by another. The quest for land and its resources was the heart of colonialization.