Tuesday 12 October, 13.00-14.30 – ODI, London
It is estimated that women worldwide own only 1-2% of individually titled land. This is despite making up more than 80% of farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Assets can be an important source of social mobility and in low income developing countries land is the key asset. It is the primary source of wealth, social status, and power and provides the basis for shelter, food, and economic activities. Conversely, limited access to and control of land can restrict livelihood opportunities; constrain coping strategies in the face of negative events and inhibit investments in human capital formation. So, although women are central figures in producing food, they can commonly only access land through their husbands, fathers, sons or brothers. Land is commonly obtained through inheritance but women are rarely allowed to inherit land. This matters because women’s lack of control of this key resource influences the power that women have within their household and in wider society, their ability to leverage credit to invest in agriculture or other livelihood activities and their vulnerability to downward mobility on separation, divorce or widowhood. This, in turn, has implications for women’s ability to invest in their children or pass on their wealth – with implications for the life-long incomes of the next generation.
The Chronic Poverty Research Centre and the Overseas Development Institute are jointly hosting a public meeting at the Overseas Development Institute in London. This meeting will present an overview of new research into inheritance practice and its impact on how wealth (and poverty) is transmitted from one generation to another. It will explore ways that inheritance policy and practice can be made more equitable and will hear from practitioners about their work to empower women and improve the life-chances of them and their children.
We have some very interesting speakers. Andy Norton (ODI’s new Director of Research) will chair the meeting. Kate Bird (ODI/CPRC) will present an overview of empirical evidence inequitable inheritance and the intergenerational transmission poverty and will identify some possible policy solutions. Fati Alhassan (Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation & the Huairou Commission, Ghana) will describe practical interventions used in Ghana to protect women’s assets, Angela Langenkamp (GTZ) and Meryem Aslan (UNIFEM/UN Women) will identify how international agencies can respond to the issues raised. In addition Elizabeth Cooper (Oxford University), Jessica Espey (Save the Children), Cheryl Doss (Yale University) Ruth Evans and Caroline Day (University of Reading), Amber Peterman and Neha Kumar (IFPRI), Anirudh Krishna (Duke University), Carolyn Lesorogol and Gina Chowa (Washington University & University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Robert Miller (Queens University) who have recently produced research on inheritance and the intergenerational transmission of poverty will be available to participate actively in the discussion.
For further information and to register please visit the event web page.