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Gender and Land Rights

Policy Brief: Economic and Social Perspectives; Understanding Complexities; Adjusting Policies











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    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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    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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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    The gender gap in land rights 2018
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    For rural women and men, land is often the most important household asset for supporting agricultural production and providing food security and nutrition. Evidence shows that secure land tenure is strongly associated with higher levels of investment and productivity in agriculture – and therefore with higher incomes and greater economic wellbeing. Secure land rights for women are often correlated with better outcomes for them and their families, including greater bargaining power at household and community levels, better child nutrition and lower levels of gender-based violence. However, in many parts of the world both men and women have inadequate access to secure rights over land. Women are particularly disadvantaged in this regard. Reliable, sex-disaggregated data on land is crucial for highlighting disparities in land rights between women and men; this enables us to improve policy formulation and to monitor progress towards gender equality in agriculture and land tenure. Although there are significant efforts underway to collect better and more relevant data on land rights, there is still a lack of understanding as to what data are available and needed, and what they can tell us about women’s land rights. This information brief highlights the key concepts around land rights, the various indicators that are needed to understand the gender gap, and the statistics available for each indicator. The brief also describes the issues surrounding the statistics, and offers potential policy responses for improving women’s land rights and the monitoring of those rights.

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