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A gender perspective on land rights - Equal footing








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    Book (series)
    Gender and access to land 2002
    This guide on Gender and access to land has been prepared to support land administrators in governments and their counterparts in civil society who are involved in land access and land administration questions in rural development. It is frequently the case that gender issues are left out or misunderstood in such situations, often with negative results. This guide is designed to show where and why gender inclusion is important in projects and programmes that aim at improving land tenure and la nd administration arrangements. It provides material to raise awareness of some of the most critical gender issues that threaten access to land and its benefits. The guide emphasizes the importance of developing a better understanding of the situation for women and men when societies are subject to great economic, social and environmental changes. In order to help inform policy and implementation decisions, it identifies indicators for measuring the quality and quantity of access to land and h ousing before, during and after an intervention. The guide outlines recommended principles for land administration projects from the perspective of national and international organizations, and concludes with more detailed principles for land administration professionals.
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    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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    Book (stand-alone)
    Access to and Control over Land from a Gender Perspective - A Study Conducted in the Volta Region of Ghana 2004
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    This report is the outcome of a study undertaken on men and women’s access to and control over land in seven districts of the Volta Region in Ghana. The study evolved out of a need for increased insight into gender differences in access to and control over land and the implications of insecure access to land for households within the Volta Region of Ghana. The objective of the study was to obtain an improved understanding of gender-specific constraints that exist in the Volta Region with regard to land tenure. It was anticipated that such information could contribute to: (i) an enhanced decision making power of women in their efforts to obtain more secure access to land within the framework of existing legal, customary rights, regulations and practices, (ii) increased female utilisation of legal aid and other legal services, and (iii) improved agricultural productivity, of especially women farmers, and improved food security at the household level due to an increased security o f land tenure. This study confirmed that faming activities were the main source of income amongst the communities studied in the Volta Region, a region that is well known for the production of a wide variety of food and cash crops. A clear division of labour existed between men, women and children on the farms. Women had become more involved in farming activities after independence due to changes in the division of labour, their greater involvement in food crop and cash crop farming and their greater involvement in farming related trading activities. This did not necessarily result in a betterment of their socio-economic position or an increased control over their farming activities. It has, however, increased their workload and responsibilities.

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