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Women's Rights in Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, where agriculture is the most important basis of living, women are forbidden to own land.


Women on a street market in Makeni, Sierra Leone

Women in Sierra Leone often face harsh conditions in caring for their families. Even though especially in the countryside land constitutes the primary basis of existence, women are not allowed to possess any land. Most commonly, it is owned by the male head of family which in case of death passes on the land to the sons of the family with the daughters going empty-handed. Once they marry they work on their new husband's land. Yet, widowed women and women living alone are thus dependent on the goodwill of others to be allowed to work on land to earn a living. In Sierra Leone - a country in which 85 per cent of women is victim to female genital mutilation - women find themselves in a strong dependency.

The Importance of Agriculture for Women and Children

Haja Sunda Marah
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Haja Sunda Mara in an interview with GreenRise Sierra Leone

Haja Sunda Mara is chairlady of a women's farmer association in Northern Sierra Leone. Haja, who herself has been widowed for more than 10 years, explains to us why agriculture is of great importance to women's and children's wellbeing in Sierra Leone. In Kabala, a city in the North of Sierra Leone, where Haja is located with her women's farmer association, more than 90 percent of the farmers' children attend school thanks to agricultural development projects.   

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