20 Apr 2007

Renewed calls in Tonga for land tenure reform to allow women business opportunities

5:47 pm on 20 April 2007

One of the issues on the agenda at this week's economic summit in Tonga was the country's land tenure system.

The summit was aimed at getting a consensus between government and the private sector on what was needed for a flourishing economy to develop.

The Tonga Women's Action group for Change says women need to have more equitable access to land if they are to play their part in growing the economy.

Spokesperson Ofa Guttenbeil says with land held only by males, women struggle to provide collateral for bank loans and this is stymying their business opportunities.

"So you know women are finding it really difficult to try and step into the private sector and start up small businesses because (a) they don't have the land and (b) they have to either get permission from their husband, their brothers, or their father to use their land as collateral."