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BLOG: We don’t know how many women own land. Why?

by Cheryl Doss, Yale University
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 16:00 GMT

We know women’s legal rights to own, inherit and farm land are crucial. So why is it still so hard to know how many women have rights? The importance of women’s rights to land and property are increasingly being recognized – both as human rights and as fundamental building blocks for economic development.

However the promotion of women’s access to land is hampered by the fact that there are no systematically collected data on women’s land rights or access to land.

This gap in understanding was highlighted during construction of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which call for indicators of women’s secure land tenure and women’s legal rights to land.

Better data would not only be valuable to clarify the extent of gender inequality in land holdings but also to help lay to rest the widely used but unsubstantiated claim that women own only one or two percent of the world’s land.

Better data can also support the monitoring of programs and policies designed to strengthen women’s rights to property and help to ensure that policies without a gender focus do not, in fact, end up weakening or violating women’s property rights.

So what data is needed and how can we obtain it?

Read the rest of the post on Thomson Reuters Foundation News.

 

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Gender project officer with Tanzania Natural Resource Forum

Click here to read the full Terms of Reference. The deadline to apply is April 11th.

With global attention focused on inequitable land-related investments, governments, donors, civil society, and the private sector have come together to improve land governance and investment practices. The African Union’s Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), and other standards and principles are emblematic of the international community’s commitment to improving policy and practice leading to socially responsible land-related investments.
The Responsible Investments in Property and Land (RIPL) project contributes to these on-going global efforts by supporting the participation and empowerment of communities, governments, and investors in such investments. Significantly, RIPL is committed to facilitating gender-equitable investments in land to ensure that women and men are not harmed by such investments and that women and men share equally in the benefits of investments.
The primary output of the RIPL project, in partnership with local land tenure experts, is the development of how-to guides, called “Playbooks,” for each stakeholder group (one for communities, one for investors, and one for government). The Playbooks will be developed in two focus countries—Tanzania and Ghana. These country-specific Playbooks will, in turn, inform the development of Model Playbooks that can be used as templates in other countries.


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Making sense of land, statistics, and gender

Making sense of land, statistics, and gender (pdf) is a new infographic from the Gender and Land Rights database (GLRD) of the FAO and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM). The infographic explores the correct use of land ownership statistics (ownership understood in a broad sense beyond individual property rights) and highlights how gender can influence land rights.

The infographic invites viewers to travel to a rural community in Sub-Saharan Africa to meet Tafadzwa, Wema, and Chimango who tell us about their landownership. Despite our hosts being part of the same extended family and contributing to the family farm, the data collected about them differ greatly as a result of their relationships to each other and to agricultural land.

Read on at the original posting on the FAO site.


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Best Practices and Lessons Learned for Supporting Women’s Land Rights

From 25 January to 5 February, the Land Portal Foundation will be holding a debate on the Global Land Tool Network’s Gender Evaluation Criteria (GEC), which were created to assess the effectiveness of land tools in supporting women’s land rights. The discussion will focus on sharing best practices and lessons learned for supporting women’s land rights.

The debate will take place on the Land Portal in English, French and Spanish, as well as the OECD’s Wikigender platform, and will be facilitated by the International Land Coalition.

For more information or to join this discussion, please click on the link below:


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Women’s Land Rights Visiting Professionals Program

The Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights and our partner Resource Equity are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for our Women’s Land Rights Visiting Professionals Program.

Through this program we seek to cultivate a network of qualified professionals from the developing world who are strongly committed to strengthening women’s land rights at local, national, and international levels. Our goal is to boost these visiting professionals’ capacities by fostering cross-cultural connections and enhancing their ability to advocate for and reinforce their commitment to improving women’s land rights.

The program starts with a multiweek (approximately five to six weeks) intensive at Landesa’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington, USA. Because of funding requirements, this year’s class will consist of professionals from India, China, Ghana, Liberia, and Tanzania, and they will join us in September 2016.

We invite you to consider this opportunity and would be very grateful if you could also help us by reaching out to qualified candidates, organizations, and/or networks and forward this information to them.

For more information on the program and application instructions, please visit the Visiting Professionals Program page of Landesa’s website.

If you have any questions, please contact vpp@landesa.org.


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New publication: Gender, headship, and the life cycle: Landownership in four Asian countries

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Originally posted on the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) blog

Despite increasing evidence that households do not always function as one, policies regarding land and property rights are often formulated at the household level, assuming the primary adult male is the landowner. Because land policy reform has typically focused on changing household, rather than individual, rights to land, many of the data are collected at the household rather than the individual level. As a result of a combination of these factors, securing women’s land rights has remained a largely unaddressed issue by policymakers.

So as to inform the formulation of policies and interventions to strengthen women’s land rights, a new discussion paper by Kathryn Sproule, Caitlin Kieran, Agnes Quisumbing, and Cheryl Doss analyzes data from Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam to understand the processes by which men and women acquire land; the social, cultural, and legal institutions surrounding gender and landownership; and the role of individual and household characteristics influencing an individual’s ability to own land.

The authors’ finding that women own less land than do men across different household structures and that intrahousehold gender inequality is higher in households with larger landholdings suggests an agenda for future research and policy that strengthens women’s land rights within marriage, and protects them should the marriage dissolve.

Citation: Sproule, Kathryn; Kieran, Caitlin; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; and Doss, Cheryl. 2015. Gender, headship, and the life cycle: Landownership in four Asian countries. IFPRI Discussion Paper 1481. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

http://ebrary.ifpri.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15738coll2/id/129823

This work was undertaken as part of PIM’s cross-cutting gender research.

Featured image: Calling it a day, Flickr, photo credit Staffan Scherz


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New post from EnGendering Data

How sex-disaggregated land statistics can help monitor progress of the new Sustainable Development Goals

For decades feminist economists and women’s rights advocates have made the case that the lack of data on women’s land rights has limited the ability to understand how this affects food security and rural poverty. However, recent developments may help us to overcome this challenge. The new SDGs have identified women’s land rights as a priority, setting them as targets in both Goal 1(end poverty in all its forms everywhere) and Goal 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls). Numerous UN agencies – including FAO and UN Women- are supporting the use of land indicators disaggregated by sex (in addition to type of tenure, age cohorts and ethnicity) to monitor targets regarding equal rights to economic resources, including land (t 1.4) and undertaking reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources (t 5a).

Read on at PIM’s EnGendering Data blog.