A title deed under your name remains one of the most prized possessions for Kenyans but the latest data indicate lack of the key document is most prevalent among women who own a house or agricultural land.
Among women who own a house in Kenya, only 9 percent have a title deed or any other government-recognized document with their name on it, the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2022 shows.
An estimated 73 percent of women who own a house in Kenya do not have a title deed or any other government-recognized document, the study adds.
The male gender is not better either as only 11 percent of men, who own a house, have a title deed or any other government-recognized document with their name on it.
The survey notes that among the men who own a house, an estimated 83 percent of them do not have a title deed or any other government-recognized document to show for the property.
In Kenya, all title deeds originate from the Ministry of Lands which later transfers ownership to individuals, companies or groups that own property.
The title deed is a legal document that proves the ownership of property either land or a house.
In Kenya, about 35 percent of men aged between 15 and 49 own a house alone, nine percent own a house jointly with their wife or someone else, while one percent own a house alone and jointly with someone else.
In agriculture, the report shows that an estimated 62 percent of women do not have a title deed to show for the agricultural land they own.
Only 13 percent of the women who own agricultural land in Kenya have a title deed with their name on it.
Women account for roughly 75 percent of labour force in Kenya yet they control a very small share of the title deeds, further pushing them away from financing opportunities since the documents are the most common forms of collateral when accessing bank loans.
According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2022, women in urban areas who own agricultural land are three times more likely (27 percent) to have their name on the title deed than their counterparts in rural areas (9 percent).
The possibility of women who own agricultural land having the title deed in their name increases with rising wealth, from four percent among women in the lowest quintile to 33 percent among those in the highest segment.
Among the male gender, the study by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that only 22 percent of men have their name on the title deed, while 59 percent do not have a title deed for their farms.
Under the nonagricultural land category, however, the number of women who own property with their name on the title deed shot up to 31 percent with only 44 percent reporting that the land they own does not have a title deed.
In comparison, 46 percent of men who own nonagricultural land have their name on the title deed, and 43 percent report that their non-agricultural land does not have a title deed.