The call for International Women’s Day 2016 asks people to Pledge for Parity. While parity is a noble goal, achieving it will require knowing how and women and girls have less access to resources like land. How can researchers help?
In Northern Ghana, through a series of field visits and focus group discussions, we spoke with local community members about small reservoirs and how they affect both genders differently. Here are three interesting lessons that we learned.
Matrilineal societies are widespread in Southern Africa. But what happens in them? Is there equal access to land between the sexes? What are incentives for women and men to invest in higher land productivity?
Recent experience across the developing world leaves no doubt that secure land rights for women is a fundamental requirement for ensuring that land management is sustainable and equitable. Plenty of evidence shows that, with secure rights, women are more likely to plant trees and take other actions that enhance ecosystems.
When women are empowered to do their research on land tenure, their voices in the community are strengthened. But people living in vulnerable situations are rarely considered as active partners in data collection and analysis.
People should be allowed and even, in some circumstances, encouraged to move for work. But the current structure of migration, particularly in the Ganges plains, contributes to the reproduction of rural poverty.
When talking about how to practically secure women’s property rights, it is important to be attuned to context: Which property? Which rights? Which barriers? To fully assess security, it is important to assess women’s rights across five dimensions: legitimacy, resiliency, durability, enforceability, and independence.
Policy statements on equal land rights for women abound, but are not always translated into actions. Civil society advocacy is important for creating change in laws and policies and for seeing through their implementation by reminding governments of their responsibilities.