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Accessing Justice: Models, Strategies and Best Practices on Women's Empowerment

Full citation: IDLO, "Accessing Justice: Models, Strategies and Best Practices on Women's Empowerment," IDLO REPORT (2013). - This paper highlights some of the challenges and solutions for women’s access to justice in diverse legal systems. It shows that women face structural and cultural barriers to accessing justice – insufficient knowledge of rights and remedies, illiteracy or poor literacy, and lack of resources or time to participate in justice processes. This is all the more so as women usually have intensive family responsibilities. Even where women can access the formal justice sector, the outcomes of the process often fall far short of those envisaged by international standards, particularly with regard to property rights, inheritance, divorce and child custody, and spousal abuse. Focusing on legal empowerment as a way to improve both access to justice and the quality of justice women receive, the study presents strategies and best practices in both formal and informal justice systems. Legal empowerment approaches share one core concept: using the law to enable disadvantaged groups to access justice and realize basic rights. They include legal education; legal aid services; support for non-discriminatory dispute resolution fora to complement or supplement informal systems; training of paralegals; and rights awareness. In considering whether such approaches can improve the quality of justice women receive, Accessing Justice brings together a number of IDLO-sponsored case studies in Afghanistan, India, Namibia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Morocco, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. These highlight a variety of lessons for development practitioners, both in terms of engagement with the informal legal sector and, more generally, for the use of legal empowerment and top-down / bottom-up strategies. In an appropriate context, carefully designed legal empowerment strategies may constitute a valuable contribution to improving women’s access to justice.
[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Afghanistan, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Rwanda, India
Creator:
IDLO
Year:
2013

The Gender and Equity Implications of Land-Related Investments on Land Access and Labour and Income-Generating Opportunities: A Case Study of Selected Agricultural Investments in Zambia

Full citation: FAO, "The Gender and Equity Implications of Land-Related Investments on Land Access and Labour and Income-Generating Opportunities: A Case Study of Selected Agricultural Investments in Zambia," FAO REPORT (2013). - This paper is two case studies of the gender dimensions of agricultural investments in Zambia. The lack of explicit corporate gender policies and strategies have meant that prevailing socio-cultural attitudes towards gender have penalized women in relation to the costs and benefits created by the venture. A key principle is that a ‘gender neutral’ approach to agricultural investments is not enough: investors must adopt explicit gender policies and take proactive steps to ensure that company behaviors help to overcome rather than reinforce pre-existing gender inequalities. This means adopting policies to offer employment on a priority basis to those local women and men who have suffered a loss of livelihood as a result of the land acquisition. All investors should also ensure that the scheme’s membership criteria do not directly or indirectly discriminate against women, and should take proactive measures to encourage women to join.
Two fundamental aspects of land tenure governance in particular need to be addressed: the cost of land rent required for leasehold tenure and the powers vested in customary authorities. Options for communal registration of customary land tenure should be explored. Affirmative action to protect women’s rights to land and natural resources should also be prioritized including ensuring that the new land policy provides for joint registration of land under joint occupation by married people. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Zambia
Creator:
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Year:
2013

Evaluation of Grassroots Community-Based Legal Aid Activities in Uganda and Tanzania: Strengthening Women's Legal Knowledge

This is a qualitative study of community-based legal aid programs in Uganda and Tanzania. It assesses the efficacy of legal aid activities, the challenges faced by implementing organizations, and it documents opportunities and potential for scaling–up. It finds that legal aid activities will only be successful if they also succeed at changing the mindsets and attitudes surrounding women’s rights, and that further impact evaluation should be done to determine how to improve activities. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Tanzania, Uganda
Creator:
Behrman, J., Peterman, A. and Billings, L.
Year:
2013

Women’s land rights and gender justice in land governance: pillars in the promotion and protection of women’s human rights in rural areas

Full citation: International Land Coalition. (2013). “Women’s land rights and gender justice in land governance: pillars in the promotion and protection of women’s human rights in rural areas.” Synthesis of contributions by members, partners and individual experts in the International Land Coalition’s network to the e-consultation facilitated by GI-ESCR and IWRAW-AP. - While this document covers all categories of threats, the greatest emphasis is on “pervasive patriarchy, which creates legal, political and economic limitations to the advancement of women. Across the developing world, rural women suffer widespread gender-based discrimination in laws, customs and practices causing severe inequalities in their ability to access, control, own and use land and limiting their participation in decision-making at all levels of land governance. This synthesis of submissions resulting from a consultation, to which 19 members, partners and individual experts from the International Land Coalition’s network responded, highlights the threats to women’s legal and customary land rights. Contributors to the consultation emphasized the need to achieve de facto equality, the diversity of rural women and tenure, as well as the importance of women’s participation in land governance. The synthesis closes with specific recommendations to the CEDAW Committee to reaffirm women’s land rights as a fundamental human rights issue for rural women. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
International Land Coalition
Year:
2013

Realizing women's rights to land and other productive resources

Full citation: OHCHR and UNWOMEN. (2013). “Realizing women's rights to land and other productive resources.” - This piece identifies barriers to women’s access to, use of and control over land and other productive resources as primarily being inadequate legal standards and/or ineffective implementation at national and local levels, as well as discriminatory cultural attitudes and practices at the institutional and community level. The publication provides guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of laws, policies, and programs to respect, protect, and fulfill women’s rights to land and other productive resources, including an overview of international and regional legal and policy instruments recognizing women’s rights to land and other productive resources, and ways of advancing a human rights-based approach to women’s rights to land and other productive resources. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
OHCHR and UNWOMEN
Year:
2013

Providing Farmland Ownership Rights to Women in Rural Mali: the MCC Experience

Full citation: Rolfes, L. and Seitz, V. (2013). “Providing Farmland Ownership Rights to Women in Rural Mali: the MCC Experience.” Washington, DC: World Bank Annual Conference on Land and Poverty. - This paper examines the Alatona Irrigation Project in Mali, which converted almost 5,000 hectares of Sahel scrubland into high-value irrigated farmland. One of the project’s key components was its land allocation activity, through which the irrigated land was transferred from the state to beneficiary families, with a particular focus on ensuring women had access to and control over land. This paper is a short history of project design and implementation, and how the Alatona Irrigation Project developed and executed an approach for allocating land rights to women, the results achieved and the lessons learned. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Mali
Creator:
Rolfes, L. and Seitz, V
Year:
2013

The paradox of gender discrimination in land ownership and women's contribution to poverty reduction in Anglophone Cameroon

Full citation: Fonjong, L., Fombe, L., & Sama-lang, I. (2013). “The paradox of gender discrimination in land ownership and women's contribution to poverty reduction in Anglophone Cameroon.” GeoJournal, 78(3), 575-589. - This study adopted a method of field work involving observations, the use of questionnaires, interviews, and focus group discussions for data collection that was able to capture key issues related to women, culture and land. The sample size of 2,205 participants included 80 % women and 20 % men from all socio-economic, political, demographic and ethnic groups. In addition to this sample, interviews were conducted and focus-group discussions held with key women, human rights NGOs and, traditional and administrative authorities in each of the localities.

The study found that land is an important factor of production for both men and women in predominantly agrarian Cameroon. While the legal framework in Cameroon advocates for equal rights and opportunities to resources, the majority of rural women who are mostly peasant farmers can neither inherit nor own land due to gender discriminatory customary practices. The findings revealed that although women are key players in the struggle against poverty who depend solely on land, they still do not have security of tenure over the land they cultivate. Specifically, land inheritance is one of the areas in which gender discrimination is still prevalent. It is deeply rooted in the socio-cultural practices of both patrilineal and matrilineal societies. In matrilineal communities like Aghen and part of Kom, where inheritance follows the female linage, the sons, and not the daughters of this linage have inheritance rights. Field investigation indicates that men and women are unanimous on the fact that current practices discriminate against women. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Cameroon
Creator:
Fonjong, L., Fombe, L., & Sama-lang, I.
Year:
2013

Enhancing Customary Justice Systems in the Mau Forest, Kenya: Impact Evaluation Report

Full citation: Freudenburg, M., & Santos, F. (2013). “Enhancing Customary Justice Systems in the Mau Forest, Kenya: Impact Evaluation Report.” USAID. - This paper evaluates a project which piloted an approach for improving women’s access to justice, particularly related to women’s land rights, by enhancing the customary justice system in one target area: Ol Pusimoru sub-location, Mau Forest, Kenya. The Justice Project consisted of: (1) delivery of a training curriculum to targeted groups (Chiefs, Elders, women and youth) focused on civic education, legal literacy, rights and responsibilities related to land and forest resources (with special emphasis on rights of women and children), and skill-building; (2) facilitated community conversations with target groups; (3) peer training for targeted groups to share information with others in the community; and (4) public information and education activities to reach the broader community.
The evaluation found improvements in legal awareness, particularly women’s legal knowledge, men’s knowledge of women’s rights, and women’s familiarity with the local justice system and alternative dispute resolution; women’s confidence in both fairness and outcomes if they need to access the local justice system, and procedural and process improvements in local dispute resolution institutions; respect for women’s rights by men in the community; increased access to land by women; improvements in women’s perceptions that they have access to an appropriate forum for dispute resolution; improvements in women’s land rights and tenure security, particularly in men’s expressed intentions to leave equal inheritance to all children, including girls, and women’s confidence in their ability to protect their land rights with support from local institutions; increased perceptions by women of improvements in the promptness and affordability of the local justice system and in Chiefs and Elders’ knowledge of the Constitution. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Kenya
Creator:
Freudenburg, M., & Santos, F.
Year:
2013

Improving Access to Land and Strengthening Women's land rights in Africa

Full citation: Odeny, M. (2013). “Improving Access to Land and Strengthening Women's land rights in Africa.” World Bank. - The need to improve access to land and strengthen women's land rights in Africa has elicited a lot of discussion with women's rights activists arguing for increased access and control over land and other productive resources. The paper examines inter-relations between women’s land rights and socio- economic development, peace and security and environmental sustainability in Africa. It goes on to highlight the impacts of the discrimination against women with regard to access, control and ownership of land and identifies promising practices related to strengthening women’s land rights with possible benchmarks and indicators to track progress made in strengthening women’s land rights in the context of the implementation of the AU Declaration on land. It concludes by providing concrete recommendations on how to further promote dialogue, advocacy, partnerships and capacity development in support of women’s land rights in Africa. This paper is as a result of a study commissioned by AU-ECA-AfDB Land Policy Initiative (LPI) which is implementing a 5- year Strategic Plan and Roadmap to assist member states in the implementation of the AU Declaration on land issues and challenges in Africa, in accordance with the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa in order to achieve socio-economic development, peace and security, and environmental sustainability. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Odeny, M.
Year:
2013