Prof Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo, the patron of the Association of Uganda Professional Women in Agriculture and Environment has come out to condemn the limited access by women to forestry.
Prof Bantebya said that like in many patriarchal societies, women in Uganda still need consent of their husbands and male elders to plant and own forests in the country.
Even though the 1998 Land Act provides for non-discrimination against women, Bantebya says there are still gender disparities in land ownership which are hindering the participation of women in the management of forests and forestry resources.
“Most land in Uganda is acquired through inheritance which favors men. Only 7 percent of the land in Uganda is owned by women limiting their participation in forest management and tree planting,” she said.
Bantebya, while addressing press last week at Nob View Hotel, noted that government formulated policies and laws to ensure that communities, especially vulnerable ones participate in decisions that affect their livelihoods in the local government Act 1997.
“The National Forestry Authority has made some progress in implementing it but it still lacks adequate institutional and human capacity to ensure that men, women youth and the poor are actively involved I forest and tree planting”.
According to the Environment ministry, Uganda has lost 1 million hectares of forest cover over the last 10 years yet they planted less than 150000 hectares.