Women now own the highest number of registered plots in the city, according to new figures from the department of Lands and Mapping. Statistics show that women either own land either as individuals or in equal partnership with their husbands—a development that counters archaic cultural norms that previously denied women the right to own land. A report presented Friday, during the launch of land registration month in Kigali, indicated that public awareness towards securing land rights and titles has reduced land-related conflicts.
Couples own most of the registered plots (148,793) followed by individual women who own 73,862 plots while those owned by men are 51,615, the report shows. “This shows the changes that have been implemented by national gender mainstreaming programme. Previously, land titles were registered in the husband’s names only, and it was forbidden for a woman to own a plot of land. We women), applaud such great initiatives that make us feel worthy,” said Grace Nishimwe of the Lands and Mapping department at the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority.
“The intended objective to register plots has been achieved. Of the 369,843 registered plots of land in the city of Kigali, over 259,000 plots have successfully been secured [with] titles. Our intention was to make sure that land owners get land titles, that would consequently eliminate the previously existing land wrangles,” said Nishimwe. Fidel Ndayisaba, the Mayor of Kigali, explained the importance of registering land, saying land guaranteed social and economic well being of all and urged the public to put it to good use. “I urge all who have plots that are not registered to do so with immediate effect, as this will save a lot,” he said.