Kenya: Women Land Owners Still Low Despite Reforms

The number of women who own land in Kenya remains low, despite constitutional reforms that have granted them equal property rights.

John Mwaura, the Chief Executive Officer at Finsco Africa, while admitting that the number of women who buy land and houses risen, he identified a gap in the ratio of buyers between men and women.

“Men are still the leading owners of properties, be it houses or land. A majority of title deeds that we issue still go to men. However, we are beginning to see an increase in the number of women acquiring properties,” Mwaura said.

The real estate expert has called upon the government and industry players to institute more measures that will encourage more women to own property.

For instance, the CEO said the Ministry of Land could run sensitization campaigns that show the benefits of having more women owning land.

He said the move would shun cultural beliefs that discourage women from owning property.

“More than ever before, so many women are now running homes single-handedly while others are leading companies. Our roads have millions of women driving heavy machines. The same should apply when it comes to owning land and buying houses.”

“Just like the society benefits by education girls, the society will benefit if more women-owned properties.”

He also urged real estate developers to offer incentives to women to encourage them to buy properties.

A study by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) shows that the number of women registered as landowners is less than seven percent.

This is a dull comparison to 30% of men who are registered landowners.

The UN body noted that the proportion of women who own land in Kenya was the lowest among countries in East Africa.

According to the new constitution in Article 40, women have equal rights to land ownership, just like men. The law also allows women to become joint owners of land with their spouses upon marriage.

Mwaura spoke when Finsco Africa is marking International Women’s Month under the theme ‘Breaking the Bias’.

The firm’s Customer Care & Communications manager AbigaelZuenasaid they are offering women a 5% discount on all their projects to encourage and empower them to purchase land and housing from Finsco Africa.

“There is no greater security for a woman than owning a home or a piece of land under her own name. Something she can call Hers that cannot be taken away from her and that can earn her an income or interest at any one given point,” Zuena said.

The company runs several projects including the newly launched Legacy Ridges with their real estate counterpart Heri Homes, that will comprise more than 4,000 units of apartments on a 200 acres of land in Ruiru, Kiambu County.

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