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.
I will give the answer with respect to the Nepalese context, based on our experiences. For me the foremost thing that comes to mind regarding strengthening women’s land rights is the establishment of community property rights over natural resources.
Strengthening women’s land rights reminds me of a sandwich. At the top, you need legal institutions that guarantee women’s rights to own property, inherit, and to a fair distribution in case of divorce or widowhood. The bottom of the sandwich is women’s knowledge of their own legal rights. Without the top and the bottom, the land rights “sandwich” falls apart.
The evidence base is growing: strengthening women’s land rights contributes to women’s empowerment and household welfare. But it isn’t that simple - there are always vested interests to protect the status quo along with the additional issues of navigating gender norms. How can we improve women's land tenure? Join the discussion
What are we actually talking about when we refer to women’s land rights? Here’s what the research is showing us: ten papers from IFPRI authors and partners highlight what we know and what we don’t know - but really should! - about gender and land tenure.
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