Thursday, 27 June 2013

A woman’s battle to inherit land in Ivory Coast

A woman in rural Ivory Coast has been called to a meeting under the shaded veranda of the local chief's house to defend her right to inherit her husband's property.

Barely in her forties, she sits quietly with her head down; the town chief in the small village of Guinkin, close to the Liberian border, is doing much of the talking.

Occasionally she speaks up to give her side of the story: "My name is Helene Tiro.  I lost my husband two years ago and I don't know where to go with my children," she explains, beginning to look desperate.

"My husband's brothers have sold all the farmland. I even don't know where to find food for my children."

Everyone looks at Mrs Tiro, somewhat stunned - not at what she is saying but the fact she is saying anything at all. It is unusual for a woman in these remote rural areas to have such confidence to speak out against her own family.

"Today I am looking for a way to take back my land and feed my children," Mrs Tiro finally says defiantly.

She adds that she has seven children and no access to the land she has farmed on every day since she got married more than 20 years ago.

Her husband was among the more than 3,000 people who died during the six months of violence that erupted after the 2010 presidential elections when incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to step down.  Mrs Tiro not only lost her husband, but her means of earning her living too

To read the rest of this story please click on this link to BBC's website.

No comments:

Post a Comment