Bujumbura, Burundi – On 22 and 23 October 2013, the sixteenth meeting of the Network of Women Parliamentarians of Central Africa (RFPAC) took place in the capital of Burundi, with support from the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA). The central topic of the meeting was women’s access to land and the promotion of sustainable agriculture in Burundi.
Mr. Pie Ntavyohanyuma, President of the National Assembly of Burundi, stated that Burundian women are largely responsible for the country’s agriculture production, but due to their lack of access to land they face many difficulties when accessing production resources and agriculture-processing. He also noted that, although women have legal status when it comes to land ownership and inheritance. This is often unrecognised due to patriarchal traditions and customs in Burundi. Mr. Pie Ntavyohanyuma urged parliamentarians, especially women parliamentarians, to vote for laws allowing women access to arable land in order to achieve sustainable agriculture that guarantees food security for families and generates a market growth.
Ms. Gloriose Berahino, President of the Network of Women Parliamentarians in Burundi, added that women are the pillars of sustainable development and urged parliamentarians to redouble their efforts to ensure that women are seen as such. In her speech, Ms. Magda De Meyer, Political Coordinator of AWEPA’s programme with RFPAC, thanked the women parliamentarians of Burundi for their efforts to make the meeting a success and expressed her hope that the recommendations emerged from the meeting will inform Central African countries’ development plans in favour of women.