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Sierra Leone Women Given Right to Own Land

Sierra Leone is the latest African country to legalize the ownership of lands by women. The country’s president Julius Maada Bio has enacted the gender equality and women’s empowerment bill into law. The new law is to be enforced, alongside the customary land rights Act 2022, allowing women equal rights as men to own, lease, or buy land in the country. It also allows women to be appointed paramount chiefs, demanding a 30% representation in public and private offices. Any person who discriminates in providing access to land resources based on gender commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than $2,600 or imprisonment for a term not less than 5 years or both. This is a welcome development for the country, as Sierra Leone is one of the African countries that has struggled with the disparity in women’s rights for decades, six decades to be precise.