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
The growing consensus on women’s land rights will remain largely theoretical, however, until something is done about the many barriers that keep women from putting into practice the new rights they are supposed to obtain on paper. Powerful vested interests and layers of established gender norms complicate this task. But informed and organized people are powerful, too, and under the right conditions can succeed.
In the run-up to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, the constitution of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers’ research program on water, land and ecosystems fostered a debate on this issue by posing one key question: What would it take to strengthen women’s land rights in practice?