From fighting land conflicts to becoming a member of the Area Land Committee (ALC)
– A story of Christine Okot
Meet Christine Okot, a small-scale woman farmer in Pece Division, Gulu district who has spent the last decade of her life fighting land battles with her family members after the death of her husband. The mother of seven children (three girls and four boys) moved from sub-county courts to district magistrates’ courts to ensure that the land left by husband remained as a base to take care of her children’s needs. In 2012 she attended one of our land rights training that allowed her to understand her rights but also realized that very many women like her have had challenges in having control and ownership of land especially when they become widows. The knowledge from the training and interactions with other fellow women gave Christine strength to push her case to the district magistrate court, where she won the battle against her in-laws. Ever since then Christine never looked back but has committed herself to become a woman land rights defender by uplifting other women that are facing land challenges in her community using the acquired knowledge and skills.
With her experience and struggle in promoting women land rights, she was nominated in June 2019 by the district local government to represent women on Area Land Committee in Pece Division. Christine feels this is a great opportunity that will create more heights for ensuring that women in her community and others understand and defend their rights so that they do not fall victims of ignorance and cultural atrocities that have led to many women to be displaced from their rightfully owned land.
“One of the major challenges in communities is many women feel inferior thus they do not challenge or uplift themselves to fight for their land rights as given to them in the constitution and the Land Act. My major goal therefore is to ensure that I empower my fellow women as well as sensitize men to become change agents and inspire other men to do the same so that women can have equal opportunities.” She said.
– About Christine Okot
Christine Okot is a farmer group chairperson of Can kwiya goro Farmer Group in Bwana gweno village, Laroo sub-county in Gulu district. She is the Vice Chairperson of ESAFF Gulu and a member of ESAFF Women Chapter.