“Changemakers” is our series exploring how young people, connected and globally aware, are working to change the world. If you know a young person (think “Millennial” or “Gen Y”) committed to change, global health and the fight against poverty, please send the person’s name, short bio and contact info to Jake Ellison at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Lisa Stiffler, special correspondent
Leslie Hannay, 33, is a fellow at Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights in Seattle.
In many developing countries, when a woman’s husband dies, she loses not only her spouse but also the land under her feet, land that might have been her only source of income and sustenance for her family.
Leslie Hannay wants to help change that.
As a fellow at Seattle’s Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights, Hannay is working with women’s groups, policy makers and foreign governments to change laws to ensure that women own the land on which they farm and live.
Hannay is working on a project in northern Uganda in partnership with a small, local women’s empowerment organization that’s assisting women who have been affected by the area’s recent conflicts and in need of land rights. The work focuses on identifying the barriers to land ownership, which can include cultural hurdles. The solutions include making sure that women are a part of the dialog that shapes land policies.
“When women have secure access to land, they are better off and their societies are better off,” Hannay said. “It’s an important step to ending cycles of global poverty.” Continue reading