Pretoria - Influential women from across Africa converged for a conference in Pretoria last week, as they called for greater land ownership rights. The conference, hosted by the Habitat for Humanity’s Solid Ground Campaign in association with the Urban CSO Cluster of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) of UN-Habitat, focused on land governance and management in Africa. In a statement, Tamzin Hudson, advocacy specialist for Habitat for Humanity International, said that the event was an opportunity for all those who were involved in land issues to meet in one place to talk about their challenges.Various groups from different countries in Africa were part of the conference. Hudson said that Land was essential to securing shelter, for agriculture for food security, for mobilising investments and for sustainable management of resources.Uganda’s representative of the Pan African Parliament Jacqueline Amongin said that education and information were paramount to ensure women were aware of their rights to land and the right to have their names on documentation."Women need to have the right to bequeath land, trade land and cultivate land with the knowledge that the land belongs to them," said Amongin.A development and human rights expert, who was now the Land Rights Policy Lead with Oxfam, Marc Wegerif, said that in communities where women had stronger land rights, there were lower levels of both hunger and violence against women."With control over the land they depend on for their livelihoods, women are able to take more control of their lives. Women also play a vital role in the betterment of their families and communities, giving them secure land rights should be imperative," said Wegerif.