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Women and Land in the Muslim World

Pathways to increase access to land for the realization of development, peace and human rights









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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    The Community Land Rights of Women and Youth in Turkana County, Kenya 2017
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    This policy brief presents the main findings of a situational analysis and assessment of women’s and youth’s ability to access community land in Turkana County, Kenya, with a focus on their rights. The brief highlights the fact that even though policy and legal frameworks provide for equal rights and nondiscrimination in access to land, women and youth still face many land-related challenges in Turkana County. It looks at the current situation regarding community land rights and examines the bar riers that women face trying to realize these rights. It further provides recommendations and strategies that can be used to strengthen and secure rights to community land for women and youth. This brief aims to inform policymakers, administrators, development partners, and local communities, including women’s and non-governmental organizations working to improve access to land for women and youth.
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    Book (series)
    Gender and land compendium of country studies 2005
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    From the outset, the development of agriculture has been strongly associated with women’s endeavour. In fact, women’s contribution to agriculture goes back to the origins of farming and the domestication of animals when the first human settlements were established more than 6 000 years ago. Over the years, the division of responsibilities and labour within households and communities tended to place farming and nutrition-related tasks under women’s domain. Nowadays, in many societies women continue to be mainly responsible for family food security and nutrition. Nevertheless, the institutional framework and policy environment have not necessarily evolved to respond to the goals of human and social reproduction; on the contrary, they have been subordinated to financial and profit-making goals. Gender, together with other social and economic factors, determines the individual’s and group’s access to and control over resources. Cultural norms and social practices, as well as socio-economic factors, are among the main obstacles women face in this regard. In practice, although most national legal codes have explicitly incorporated legal provisions acknowledging gender equality in relation to access and ownership of land and other productive resources, it has been noted that women’s rights to own resources on equal conditions to those of men are repeatedly disregarded or overlooked.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Women’s land rights and agrarian change: Evidence from indigenous communities in Cambodia 2019
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    Current changes in land tenure in Cambodia are reshaping indigenous communities agrarian and socio-economic systems. Customary laws that have determined land usage and rights, are now undergoing profound transformations. The commodification of land, influenced by processes of dispossession and alienation, is reshaping communities’ norms and customs. Land, before freely available to users, is now substantially a private asset and as such transferred from one generation to the next one like other assets. Customary laws derive their legitimacy from social systems that are context specific and change with time. This determines their ambiguous character as instruments for resistance and self-determination as well as generators of unequal social relations in rural communities. The experiences from other continents and countries have shown the contradictory and often conflicting linkage between customary land rights and women’s rights to own land. This study analysis the customary inheritance system of indigenous groups in Northern Cambodia, prevalently centred around matrilineal or bilateral kinship, where women used to inherit and own the principal family assets. The research questions focus on indigenous women’s inheritance and property rights as they apply to land, in the context of increasing land commoditization and scarcity. The aim of the enquiry is to contribute to the understanding of the gender implications of these changes, by gaining insight about women’s position vis-à-vis land property, inheritance and transfer to new generations. The changes in land tenure that have occurred in Ratanakiri province during the last decades have resulted in a substantial alienation of land and resources formerly available to indigenous people. Consequently, the area farmed under shifting cultivation has significantly decreased and been replaced by permanent commercial crops, while the increasing monetization of communities’ economy has triggered new processes of social differentiation. Little support has been given to indigenous farmers in order to manage this transition and adapt their farming system while maintaining its sustainability. The legal instruments deriving from the Land Law, which in theory should have contributed to provide formal legal protecting to indigenous land and allow communities to continue using land according to their traditional tenure system were impaired by delays and the obstacles in the practical implementation of the law. External actors, institutional as well as non-governmental, have been actively promoting agricultural practices centred on rapid gains, unsustainable exploitation of land and forest, carpet introduction of monocultures without creating the conditions for the establishment of favourable value chains and market conditions. The changes that have taken place have important implications in terms of women’s role and status within communities: not only because of the farming system transition, but also as a consequence of the increasing influence of the mainstream culture, in which gender norms are more hierarchical and constrictive then the ones in use among the indigenous peoples targeted by this study. Following the evidence presented here, strengthening indigenous women land rights may result from a multipurpose approach that embraces different areas of interventions and actors, detailed in the recommendations provided.

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