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Land in the Right Hands: Promoting Women's Rights to Land

This paper summarizes several UN Women projects from 2004 to 2009 aimed at improving women’s land rights in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The key objective was to drive and boost positive changes in political, legal and public domains through mainstreaming gender in ongoing agrarian reforms and follow-up monitoring. One key set of programming was the provision of legal counseling, business training, and the establishment of cooperatives and self-help groups. Over 2002-2006 the number of women running farms in Tajikistan increased from 2 to 14 per cent. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic
Creator:
Multiple Contributing Authors
Year:
2012

Protecting Community Lands and Resources: Evidence from Liberia, Mozambique and Uganda

Namati and International Development Law Organization (IDLO) publication.

- The study’s objectives were to: facilitate the documentation and protection of customarily held community lands through legally established community land titling processes; understand how to best support communities to successfully protect their lands and determine the types and level of support required; and pilot strategies to guard against intra-community injustice and discrimination during community land titling processes and protect the interests of vulnerable groups. Cross-national analysis of the data illustrates that the by-laws/constitution-drafting process had a statistically significant impact on the substance of women’s and other vulnerable groups’ land rights. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Liberia, Mozambique, Uganda
Creator:
Multiple Contributing Authors
Year:
2012

Engendering Access to Justice: Grassroots women's approaches to securing land rights

The community-based study has three purposes: 1. Highlight the multitude of issues and challenges facing African women in relation to land and property. 2. Document the main strategies that grassroots women’s groups are using to help women attain justice, either by working within or influencing customary legal frameworks, or by assisting women to access the court system, in order to develop a cohesive series of strategies for grassroots women-led groups to use in achieving justice in relation to land and property. 3. Provide evidence that can be used to insert grassroots women’s perspectives and practices into the existing development discourse on women’s access to justice in relation to land and property, particularly within the African context.

It finds broadly that the most important components of successful approaches are: community sensitization and training sessions on customary and statutory legal systems; community mapping; local-to-local dialogues with headmen, chiefs, and local leaders; • the use of community paralegals for information, advice, and access to resources for grassroots women; the use of watchdogs to identify and highlight problems in a community; and, • the development of partnerships with key stakeholders. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda
Creator:
Brown, J. and Gallant, G.
Year:
2014

Implications of Community-based Legal Aid Regulation on Women's Land Rights

This brief looks at the consequences of regulating services provided at the community level to support women’s land rights, with a focus on Tanzania. They recommend programs:
• evaluate the implications for geographic coverage and program quality by defining at least two distinct tiers of paralegals to provide legal services at different levels of decentralization
• identify the appropriate educational criterion for each tier of paralegal that will identify individuals with the facility to access training materials and complete reporting requirements
• undertake additional research to establish distinct, paralegal training curricula that consider topic breadth versus relevance according to the services provided in each tier. Curricula for community paralegals should be based on analysis of the cost-effectiveness of initial training investments versus regular periodic training
• for additional insight on modalities to reduce paralegal attrition, conduct analysis on the cost effectiveness of paralegal compensation to assess the implications on program quality and sustainability [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Tanzania
Creator:
Billings, L., Meinzen-Dick, R. and Mueller, V.
Year:
2014

Economic Self-help Group Programs for Improving Women’s Empowerment: A Systematic review

Full citation: Brody C, De Hoop T, Vojtkova M, Warnock R, Dunbar M, Murthy P, Dworkin S. (2015). “Economic Self-help Group Programs for Improving Women’s Empowerment: A Systematic review.” Campbell Systematic Reviews 2015:19. - This review looks at the impacts of self-help groups with a broad range of collective finance, enterprise, and livelihood components on women’s political, economic, social, and psychological empowerment in low- and middle-income countries using evidence from rigorous quantitative evaluations. The secondary objective was to examine the perspectives of female participants on their experiences of empowerment as a result of participation in economic SHGs in low- and middle-income countries using evidence from high-quality qualitative evaluations. The study found that women’s economic SHGs have positive statistically significant effects on various dimensions of women’s empowerment, including economic, social and political empowerment, but no statistically significant effects of SHGs on psychological empowerment. The study also found no evidence of adverse effects, including no negative consequences regarding domestic violence. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Brody C, De Hoop T, Vojtkova M, Warnock R, Dunbar M, Murthy P, and Dworkin S.
Year:
2015

Delivering on Women Farmers’ Rights

Full citation: Euphrasia, A. (2015). “Delivering on Women Farmers’ Rights.” - This policy brief discusses the reasons that the situation for women smallholder farmers across Africa has not changed much in the past decade. It identifies four main barriers to women smallholder farmers’ participation: women’s access to and control of land; unpaid care work (childcare, household maintenance, etc.); women’s lack of access to finance and extension services offered by the state; and limited state investments in the agricultural sector. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Euphrasia, A.
Year:
2015

Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa

Full citation: Hallward-Driemeier, M. and Hasan, T. (2012). “Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa.” Africa Development Forum Series, World Bank, Washington, DC. - This paper finds that out of forty-three African jurisdictions twenty-two formally recognize males as the head of the household, giving them sole discretion to represent the household and make household decisions. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Hallward-Driemeier, M. and Hasan, T.
Year:
2012

Greater empowerment and security of women through the Joint Land Ownership Certificate

Full citation: International Land Coalition. (2014). “Greater empowerment and security of women through the Joint Land Ownership Certificate.” - This paper looks at work in Nepal to push for joint ownership and increased ownership for women of land. Pre-titling activities included workshops, demonstrations, art work, meetings, and street drama. The Government of Nepal then introduced the Joint Land Certificate (JLC), issued to both husband and wife, through the Budget Policy of 2011/12. It finds that good practice calls for reducing cost and increase access generally. Fee waivers, special rates or subsidies in formalization programs for certain groups might be needed given the interaction between improved livelihoods and tenure reforms and gender gaps. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Nepal
Creator:
International Land Coalition
Year:
2014

Women and access to land and credit: discussions and key findings of the African Gender Development Index in Selected African Countries

Full citation: UNECA. (2007). “Women and access to land and credit: discussions and key findings of the African Gender Development Index in Selected African Countries,” June 2007, p.17. - In 2004, the African Centre for Gender and Social Development (ACGSD) launched AGDI, which provides a holistic perspective to gender (in)equality in Africa, consisting of three main areas: economic, social and political. This paper recommends that countries develop innovative strategies to address women’s equal access to land and credit directly and firmly in the economic policies. While countries have been active in developing gender policies, the approach does not have a long-term impact or maximum outreach if women’s access to resources is addressed in policies that target women only. Therefore, comprehensive mainstreaming strategies for inclusion of women need to be developed. In the case of land rights, despite the fact that much has been done already, women’s access to and control over land remains extremely low. This clearly indicates that the existing systems are not working to the full capacity or that they are not working at all. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
UNECA
Year:
2007

Women, Land and Law in Vietnam

Full citation: Alvarado, G. et al. (2015). “Women, Land and Law in Vietnam.” ICRW.

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Vietnam
Creator:
Multiple Contributing Authors
Year:
2015

Gender and Land: Good Practices and Lessons Learned from Four Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact Funded Land Projects

Full citation: Giovarelli, R., Hannay, L., Scalise, E., Richardson, A., Seitz, V. and Gaynor, R. (2015). “Gender and Land: Good Practices and Lessons Learned from Four Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact Funded Land Projects.” Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights. - This paper looks at four MCC projects that involved titling land in Benin, Lesotho, Mali, and Namibia and how they ensured women’s rights to land were recognized. It finds that it is important to consider both formal and customary laws and provides examples of both; that it is important to identify all property rights holders, regardless of the overarching objectives of the project; that communication, education, and training activities are vital; and that donors play a key role in ensuring gender is considered in land documentation projects. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Mali, Benin, Lesotho, Namibia
Creator:
Giovarelli, R., Hannay, L., Scalise, E., Richardson, A., Seitz, V. and Gaynor, R.
Year:
2015

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

Land Tenure Rights for Women Under Customary Law

Full citation: Benbih, K. and Katz, J. (2014). “Land Tenure Rights for Women Under Customary Law.” - This paper highlights women’s rights issues in accessing land under dual systems. The goal is to make the knowledge resulting from the use of a platform, such as the Global Housing Policy Indicators (GHI), accessible on an open source to all land specialists, NGOs, policy makers, governmental agencies, as well as a global audience, including women around the world. The cases presented illustrate various difficulties to secure land tenure for women. The GHI assessment tool finds first hand evidence of the discrepancies between constitutional laws that are mostly gender neutral and the set of unspoken social norms or customary laws that discriminate against women, by way of practices restricting women’s ability to own, inherit or individually use land. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Armenia, Colombia, Indonesia, Uganda
Creator:
Benbih, K. and Katz, J.
Year:
2014

Improving Land Tenure Security for Women: A Starting with Women Approach

A Starting with Women Toolkit - Full citation: Hannay, L., & Scalise, E. (2014). “Improving Land Tenure Security for Women: A Starting with Women Approach.” - This paper discusses a pragmatic, adaptive framework and approach for understanding and taking action to strengthen women’s land tenure security in the context of customary tenure in northern Uganda. The project team developed a Women’s Land Rights Framework (“Framework”), which provided a specific definition of secure land rights. The Framework defines secure land rights in terms of five elements, which each serves as the basis for distinct, measurable indicators upon which to base the project assessment, design, and evaluation. This paper presents the Framework and suggests its potential as an analytical foundation for assessing the security of land rights, for designing projects or developing policies that protect and strengthen women’s land rights, and for evaluating the effectiveness of such policies or projects.
[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Hannay, L., and Scalise, E.
Year:
2014

Gender, assets, and market-oriented agriculture: learning from high-value crop and livestock projects in Africa and Asia

Full citation: Quisumbing, A.R., Rubin, D., Manfre, C., Waithanji, E., van den Bold, M., Olney, D., Johnson, N., et al. (2015). “Gender, assets, and market-oriented agriculture: learning from high-value crop and livestock projects in Africa and Asia.” Agriculture and Human Values. - This paper explores changes in gender relations and women’s assets in four agricultural interventions that promoted high value agriculture with different degrees of market-orientation. It finds that while projects can successfully involve women and increase production, income, and the stock of household assets, generally men’s incomes increased more than women’s and the gender-asset gap did not decrease. Some threats were gender- and asset-based barriers to participation in projects and gender norms that limit women’s ability to accumulate and retain control over assets (including land). Other targeted support to women farmers may also be needed to promote their acquisition of the physical assets required to expand production or enter other nodes of the value chain. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Multiple Contributing Authors
Year:
2015

Property Rights and Productivity: The Case of Joint Land Titling in Vietnam

Full citation: Newman, C., Tarp, F., and Broek, K. (2015). “Property Rights and Productivity: The Case of Joint Land Titling in Vietnam.” Vol.91(1), pp.91-105. - This paper explores the effect of land titling on agricultural productivity in Vietnam and the productivity effects of single versus joint titling for spouses. The results show that obtaining a land title is associated with higher yields, for both individually and jointly held titles. The study concludes that there is no tradeoff between joint titling and productivity, and so joint titles are potentially an effective way to improve women’s bargaining power within the household with no associated efficiency losses.

[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Vietnam
Creator:
Newman, C., Tarp, F., and Broek, K.
Year:
2015

Hindu Women's Property Rights in India: A Critical Appraisal

Full citation: Patel, R. (2006). “Hindu Women's Property Rights in India: A Critical Appraisal.” Third World Quarterly, 27(7), 1255–1268. - This paper looks at changes in Hindu women’s position regarding property rights, and argues that rights conferred through law must be analyzed in light of their contexts (cultural, historical, etc.) to determine their practical legitimacy. It addresses the need to critically define the bases and contours of 'rights' as created by law. Taking the example of changes in Hindu women’s position in relation to property through the rights generated by statutory and constitutional provisions, the article critically evaluates the potential for such a 'rights regime' to enable Hindu women's greater access to property. It argues that the idea underlying a particular claim, its legitimacy and therefore effectiveness within a legal framework must be critically evaluated. The legitimacy of claims presumptively conferred within a legal framework must be interrogated in the light of legal, historical, political and cultural contexts. Such a contextual and critical analysis is crucial for effective protection of rights claims through law. To the extent that legal regimes reflect and substantiate wider social relations, their potential for bringing about substantive change in the lives of women can only be realized through ongoing critical analyses of gender, law and society.
[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
India
Creator:
Patel, R.
Year:
2006

Women’s Land Rights and Children’s Human Capital in Vietnam

Full citation: Menon, N., van der Meulen Rodgers, Y., and Nguyen, H. (2014). “Women’s Land Rights and Children’s Human Capital in Vietnam.” World Development, 54, 18-31. - Vietnam’s 1993 Land Law created a land market by granting households land-use rights which could be exchanged, leased, and mortgaged. Using a matched household sample from Vietnam’s 2004 and 2008 Household Living Standards Survey, this study analyzes whether land titling for women led to improvements in child health and education. Results from the land market indicate that female-only held land-use rights decreased the incidence of illness among children, increased their health insurance coverage, raised school enrollment, and reallocated household expenditures toward food and away from alcohol and tobacco. These effects were almost all stronger than in households with male-only or jointly-held land-use rights.
[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Vietnam
Creator:
Menon, N., van der Meulen Rodgers, Y., and Nguyen, H.
Year:
2014

The gender asset gap: land in Latin America

Full citation: Deere, C. and Leon, M. (2003). “The gender asset gap: land in Latin America.” World Development, 31 (6), pp 925-947. - The gender asset gap in Latin America with respect to ownership of land is significant. In few countries do women constitute even one-quarter of the landowners. Gender inequality in land ownership is related to male preference in inheritance, male privilege in marriage, male bias in community and state programs of land distribution as well as gender bias in the land market, with women less likely than men to be successful buyers. But there are also important differences by gender in how land is acquired. Inheritance is the primary means by which most women become landowners; men are much more likely than women to acquire land through its distribution by communities or the state and via the market. Factors contributing toward a trend toward greater gender equity in land inheritance and in recent state programs are highlighted.
[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Deere, C. and Leon, M.
Year:
2003

Gender and Land Tenure Reform

Full citation: Giovarelli, R. (2009). “Gender and Land Tenure Reform,” in ONE BILLION RISING 196 (R. Prosterman, et al. eds., Leiden U. Press). - This chapter talks about specific threats to women’s land rights. They include that it may be culturally or legally impossible for women to acquire land rights through markets, inheritance, transfer or gift; that a woman’s marital status (marriage, divorce, bride price, dowry or polygamy) may create barriers to women’s land rights; that privatization or individualization of land may result in loss of non-ownership rights that women have to land (e.g., the right to use land); and that land titling programs may fail to formalize women’s rights.

[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Giovarelli, R.
Year:
2009

The Mystery of Capital Formation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Women, Property Rights and Customary Law

Full citation: Joireman, S.F. (2008). "The Mystery of Capital Formation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Women, Property Rights and Customary Law," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1233-1246, July. - Economists such as Hernando De Soto have argued that clearly defined property rights are essential to capital formation and ultimately to economic growth and poverty alleviation. This article traces two impediments to the clear definition of property rights in the African context: customary law and the status of women. Both of these issues interfere with the attempt of African countries to rearticulate property law with the goal of capital formation. Constructive attempts to define property rights must address the problem of enforcement in under-resourced environments where changes may not be welcomed.

[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Joireman, S. F.
Year:
2008

Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru

Full citation: Field, E. (2007). "Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru." Quarterly Journal of Economics 122 (4): 1561-602. - Receipt of legal documents (land titles) allowed former squatters, especially women, to join formal labor markets instead of staying at home to guard their land, thereby increasing their income and reducing child labor.
[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Peru
Creator:
Field, E.
Year:
2007

Gender and Agroforestry in Africa: A review of women's participation

Full citation: Kiptot, E. and Franzel, S. (2012). “Gender and agroforestry in Africa: A review of women's participation.” Agroforestry Systems, 84(1), 35-58. - This paper presents a review of agroforestry in Africa from a gender perspective. It examines women's participation relative to men and the challenges and successes they experience. The review shows that agroforestry has the potential to offer substantial benefits to women; however, their participation is low in enterprises that are considered men's domain, such as timber and high in enterprises that have little or no commercial value, such as collection of indigenous fruits and vegetables. Data on whether women are able to manage agroforestry practices as well as men are mixed, although it is clear that women do most of the work. In cases where they do not perform well, the reasons are mostly due to scarcity of resources. In marketing, women are confined to the lower end of the value chain (retailing), which limits their control over and returns from the productive process. In order to promote gender equity in agroforestry and to ensure that women benefit fully, the paper recommends various policy, technological and institutional interventions. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Franzel, S. and Kiptot, E.
Year:
2012

Property Rights and Women’s Accumulation of Assets Over the Life Cycle: Patrimonial Violence in Ecuador

Full citation: Deere, Carmen Diana, Jackeline Contreras and Jennifer Twyman. 2010. Property Rights and Women’s Accumulation of Assets Over the Life Cycle: Patrimonial Violence in Ecuador. ALASRU Nueva época. Análisis latinoamericana del medio rural, No. 5, 2010: 135-176. - This study looks at the recognition of women’s property rights in practice in Ecuador. One finding is that women may accumulate property in two ways, as individual property and as community property. While individual property, generally acquired through an inheritance, provides a fall back position, community property in marriage or unions has special benefits. Joint property compensates women for their work and provides security. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Ecuador
Creator:
Deere, C. D., Contreras, J. and Twyman, J.
Year:
2010

Environmental and gender impacts of land tenure regularization in Africa: pilot evidence from Rwanda

Full citation: Ali, D.A., Deininger, K., and Goldstein, M. (2014). “Environmental and gender impacts of land tenure regularization in Africa: pilot evidence from Rwanda.” Journal of Development Economics, vol. 110, 2014, 262-275. - This paper evaluates the short-term impact (approximately 2.5 years after completion) of Rwanda’s land tenure regularization pilots. The findings included, land tenure regularization improved land access for legally married women and prompted better recordation of inheritance rights without gender bias; and for female-headed households, specifically, regularization had a very large impact on investment and maintenance of soil conservation measures. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Rwanda
Creator:
Ali, D.A., Deininger, K., and Goldstein, M.
Year:
2014

Innovations in land rights recognition, administration, and governance

Full citation: Deininger, K., Augustinus, C., Enemark, S., and Munro-Faure, P. (Eds.) (2010). “Innovations in land rights recognition, administration, and governance.” World Bank Publications. - This paper brings together a variety of studies on land rights. Chapter 4 in particular focuses on efforts to improve tenure security. One study in India examines whether changes in inheritance legislation impact the socioeconomic status of females, and found that when daughters were granted coparcenary birthrights in joint family property denied to daughters in the past, the amendment significantly increased the probability of females inheriting land. However, even after the passage of the amendment, significant bias against females persists. Another study in Ethiopia assesses the effects on the allocative efficiency of the land rental market of the low-cost approach to land registration and certification of restricted property rights that were implemented in Ethiopia from the late 1990s. Four rounds of balanced household panel data collected from 16 villages in northern Ethiopia are used. After controlling for endogeneity of land certification and unobserved household heterogeneity affecting land market participation, it was found that land certification enhanced land rental market participation of female landlord households. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Ethiopia, India
Creator:
Deininger, K., Augustinus, C., Enemark, S., and Munro-Faure, P.
Year:
2010

Gender and Green Governance

Full citation: Agarwal, B. (2010). Gender and Green Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press). - This book is based on a primary survey of community forestry institutions (CFIs) in the early 2000s, and on fieldwork in Nepal and India. It examines the impact the gender composition of a group has on women’s effective participation, rule-making, rule violations, forest conservation, and firewood and fodder shortages.

It finds that women’s greater presence in CFIs has many statistically demonstrable benefits. It enhances women’s effective voice in decision-making; influences the nature of decisions made, especially the rules of forest use and their implementation; and improves forest condition. Measures that help increase women’s presence in governance institutions (and especially poor women’s presence) would thus be beneficial both because their participation is intrinsically important for inclusive governance and successful institutional functioning, and to better fulfill the conservation and subsistence objectives of such institutions. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Nepal, India
Creator:
Agarwal, B.
Year:
2010

Joint-titling—A Win-Win Policy? Gender and Property Rights in Urban Informal Settlements in Chandigarh, India

Full citation: Datta, N. (2006). “Joint-titling—A Win-Win Policy? Gender and Property Rights in Urban Informal Settlements in Chandigarh, India.” - This article explores the impact of joint titling of houses on women’s empowerment in urban informal settlements in Chandigarh, India. It finds that property rights increase women’s participation in decision making, access to knowledge and information about public matters, sense of security, self-esteem, and the respect that they receive from their spouses. Women display a higher attachment to their houses than men, especially after getting joint titles, because houses play a valuable role in fulfilling women’s practical and strategic gender needs. This increased attachment to the house helps reduce property turnover in regularized settlements, hence assisting the government in attainingits goals and making joint titling a win-win policy. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
India
Creator:
Datta, N.
Year:
2006

Women's land rights and social movements in the Brazilian agrarian reform

Full citation: Deere, C.D. (2003). “Women's land rights and social movements in the Brazilian agrarian reform.” Journal of Agrarian Change, 3 (1-2), pp 257-288. - This article examines the evolution of the demand for women's land rights in the Brazilian agrarian reform. Most of the credit for raising the issue of women's land rights rests with women within the rural unions, as a by–product of the effort to end discrimination against women in all its dimensions. The achievement of formal equality in land rights did not lead to increases in the share of female beneficiaries of the reform, which remained low in the mid–1990s. This was largely because securing women's land rights in practice was not a top priority of any of the rural social movements. Moreover, the main social movement determining the pace of the agrarian reform, the landless movement, considered class and gender issues to be incompatible. By the late 1990s, however, there was growing awareness that failure to recognize women's land rights was prejudicial to the development and consolidation of the agrarian reform settlements and thus the movement. The growing consensus among all the rural social movements of the importance of securing women's land rights, coupled with effective lobbying, encouraged the State in 2001 to adopt specific mechanisms for the inclusion of women in the agrarian reform. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Brazil
Creator:
Deere, C.D.
Year:
2003

Who Owns the Land? Perspectives from Rural Ugandans and Implications for Large-Scale Land Acquisitions

Full citation: Doss, C., Meinzen-Dick, R., and Bomuhangi, A. (2014). “Who Owns the Land? Perspectives from Rural Ugandans and Implications for Large-Scale Land Acquisitions.” Feminist Economics, 20(1), 76-100. - This article is based on a 2008–09 study of land tenure in Uganda. It analyzes how different definitions of land ownership – including household reports, existence of ownership documents, and rights over the land – provide very different indications of the gendered patterns of land ownership and rights. While many households report husbands and wives as joint owners of the land, women are less likely to be listed on ownership documents, and have fewer rights. A simplistic focus on “title” to land misses much of the reality regarding land tenure and could have an adverse impact on women’s land rights [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Uganda
Creator:
Doss, C., Meinzen-Dick, R., and Bomuhangi, A.
Year:
2014

Cocoa, Marriage, Labour, and Land in Ghana: Some Matrilineal and Patrilineal Perspectives

Full citation: Duncan, B.A. (2010). “Cocoa, Marriage, Labour, and Land in Ghana: Some Matrilineal and Patrilineal Perspectives.” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 80 (2), 301–21. - Based on field research conducted between April 2006 and November 2007 in four matrilineal and two patrilineal communities located in the Brong Ahafo, Western and Volta regions, the study sets out important changes taking place within the institutions of marriage, land tenure and conjugal labour relations, within the cocoa production sector. Many scholars have documented systems of land exchange between husbands and wives for services rendered within the context of cocoa farming. This study shows that new and previously undocumented forms of informal conjugal unions may be coming into existence in the context of cocoa production, and these new arrangements provide much less land tenure security for women.

In the matrilineal communities especially, formal marriage arrangements appear to be an exception rather than the prevailing norm. Contract marriages, popular in the western region, are essentially seasonal arrangements made between men and women particularly during the cocoa harvesting season, which lasts for a period of three to six months, after which the relationship is either renewed or terminated. No land is exchanged in a contract marriage. Consensual unions are not as secure as formal marriages, but are a step toward formal marriage. In one case, the Ghanaian court said women in such relationships were entitled to a one-third share of cocoa land which they had assisted their partners to develop. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Ghana
Creator:
Duncan, B.A.
Year:
2010

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

On the Edge of the Law: Women's Property Rights and Dispute Resolution in Kisii, Kenya

Full citation: Henrysson, E. and Joireman, S. (2009). “On the Edge of the Law: Women's Property Rights and Dispute Resolution in Kisii, Kenya.” Law Society Review 43(1), 39-60. - This study used interviews and focus groups to explore property disputes and perceptions of formal and customary systems of dispute resolution. The initial interviews were structured and conducted with various groups and individuals.

In Kenya, government efforts at establishing clearly defined property rights and adjudication mechanisms have run up against alternative processes for the adjudication of disputes. This research demonstrates that customary processes may also carry a monetary cost that puts them beyond the means of many citizens. This article compares the costs and processes of the formal and informal methods of property rights adjudication for women in the Kisii region of Kenya. The research results suggest that women have weak property rights overall, they have limited access to formal dispute resolution systems because of costs involved, and even the informal systems of conflict resolution are beyond the means of many citizens.

Attempts to maintain use rights over their land when widowed or divorced are not taken to the land tribunals because of the expense involved. Pursuing the resolution of disputes through the customary system is also prohibitively expensive. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Kenya
Creator:
Henrysson, E. and Joireman, S.
Year:
2009

Gender, social capital and information exchange in rural Uganda

Full citation: Katungi, E., Edmeades, S., and Smale, M. (2008). Gender, social capital and information exchange in rural Uganda. J. Int. Dev., 20: 35–52. - Established social structures, such as grassroots associations, have contributed to efforts at agricultural development in rural areas. By disaggregating the analysis by the gender of the household head, the study provides a detailed assessment of how differences among male and female heads of households influence information diffusion in rural areas. Results support the premise that social capital significantly influences information exchange among rural households, with evidence of gender disparities in the process. Female heads of households appear to be disadvantaged in their access to information related to agricultural technologies. Local associations have a higher effect among female heads of households while social institutions have a higher effect among male heads of households. An important implication from this result for outreach programs is that different forms of social capital may need to be accounted for in development programs. The results provide support for group-based approaches in technology dissemination. Since both male and female heads of household have the same propensity to join associations, this type of social capital should be encouraged. Strategies that promote gender heterogeneous groups may have a greater impact on information diffusion. Formal extension activity in the village stimulates information exchange, particularly among women that head households.

Finally, the direction of information exchange is also of policy relevance. Both informal and formal mechanisms for information dissemination appear to have a significant impact on a two-way information sharing. This warrants support for formal extension programs and community associations as two complementary mechanisms for information diffusion in rural areas. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Uganda
Creator:
Katungi, E., Edmeades, S., and Smale, M.
Year:
2008

Gender and sustainable forest management in East Africa and Latin America

Full citation: Mwangi, E., Meinzen-Dick, R. and Sun, Y. (2011). “Gender and sustainable forest management in East Africa and Latin America.” Ecology and Society 16(1): 17. - This paper presents a comparative study of forest management across four countries in East Africa and Latin America: Kenya, Uganda, Bolivia, and Mexico. It focuses on whether varying proportions of women (low, mixed, high) in forest user groups influence their likelihood of adopting forest resource enhancing behavior and finds that higher proportions of females in user groups, and especially user groups dominated by females, perform less well than mixed groups or male dominated ones. This may be because of gender biases in technology access and dissemination, a labor constraint faced by women, and/or a possible limitation to women’s sanctioning authority. Mixed female and male groups offer an avenue for exploiting the strengths of women and men, while tempering their individual shortcomings. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Mwangi, E., Meinzen-Dick, R. and Sun, Y.
Year:
2011

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

Institutional Innovations Towards Gender Equity in Agrobiodiversity Management: Collective Action in Kerala, South India

Full citation: Padmanabhan, M.A. (2005). “Institutional Innovations Towards Gender Equity in Agrobiodiversity Management: Collective Action in Kerala, South India.” - This study compares two institutions of collective biodiversity management in Kerala, India. The traditional mechanisms of a scheduled tribe, the Kurichyas, are contrasted with the new institution of the People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) under the local form of governance, the panchayat. Collective action is analysed for the core variables of reputation, trust and reciprocity. In the tribal institutions, traditional seed exchange rests on reputation and gender complementarities, which are eroded by a diminishing degree of trust and dissolving property rights for women and weakened by failing norms of reciprocity. The new institution of PBR threatens tribal women’s reputations and their knowledge by reducing it to a bureaucratic register, the disembodiment of knowledge into information reduces trust and unpredictable returns diminish reciprocity. A massive public investment in strengthening women’s capabilities for a transformation from conservers and users to advocates, managers and decision-makers regarding biodiversity might halt the loss. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
India
Creator:
Padmanabhan, M.A.
Year:
2005

Learning from a 'paralegals' intervention to support women's property rights in Uganda

Full citation: Patel, P. Douglas, Z., and Farley, K. (2014). “Learning from a ‘paralegals’ intervention to support women’s property rights in Uganda.” ICRW. - This paper analyzes an ICRW and Uganda Land Alliance program to establish and build the capacity of a legal rights worker organization in Luwero District, Uganda. The program aimed to support women’s property rights by training a group of male and female community members to become legal rights workers. Referred to as “paralegals”, these legal rights workers provide legal advice, mediation services, and education about WPR and other property rights issues to people in their communities. It found that targeted sensitization messages help to support the intensity and reach of community education efforts on women’s property rights, that two levels of training and technical support for paralegals have been critical: 1) formal, structured trainings on the law and women’s property rights; and 2) ongoing, more personalized assistance on handling property rights disputes/cases and delivering sensitization messages on women’s property rights, that strengthening relationships with local leaders and institutions — whether with local councilpersons, religious leaders, or law enforcement bodies — is critical for the successful implementation of a community-based legal aid program that aims to strengthen women’s property rights, and that implementing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system enabled the program to identify challenges and formulate new approaches will help increase its effectiveness. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Uganda
Creator:
Patel, P. Douglas, Z., and Farley, K.
Year:
2014

Land Rights Knowledge and Conservation in Rural Ethiopia: Mind the Gender Gap

Full citation: Quisumbing, A. and Kumar, N. (2014). “Land Rights Knowledge and Conservation in Rural Ethiopia: Mind the Gender Gap.” IFPRI. - This paper examines the community-based land certification effort in Ethiopia, an early successful attempt to implement a cost-effective and transparent land-registration process. It found that while the difference between male- and female-headed households’ proportions of land registered is small, there is a “glaring” gap in men’s and women’s knowledge of land rights and that educating women had significant impact on soil conservation. Using the 2009 round of the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey, the paper examines the medium-term impact of the land registration on investment behavior by households, particularly the adoption of soil conservation techniques and tree planting. The paper suggests that closing the knowledge gap in legal rights is an important step to improving adoption of soil conservation technologies and sustainable farming techniques. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Ethiopia
Creator:
Quisumbing, A. and Kumar, N.
Year:
2014

Is gender an important factor influencing user groups' property rights and forestry governance? Empirical analysis from East Africa and Latin America

Full citation: Sun, Y., Mwangi, E. & Meinzen-Dick, R. (2011). “Is gender an important factor influencing user groups’ property rights and forestry governance? Empirical analysis from East Africa and Latin America.” International Forestry Review, Vol. 13 (2), pp. 205 – 219. - This article explores the effects that gender composition of forest user groups has on property rights and forestry governance, based on data from 290 forest user groups in Kenya, Uganda, Bolivia, and Mexico. It finds that while female-dominated groups tend to have more property rights to trees and bushes, and collect more fuelwood but less timber than do male-dominated or gender-balanced groups, gender-balanced groups participate more in forestry decision-making and are more likely to have exclusive use of forests. Female-dominated groups participate less, sanction less, and exclude less. It’s therefore important to gain better understanding of the dynamics of mixed-gender groups, including the nature and types of cooperation among males and females when determining what kind of group-based intervention to pursue. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries
Creator:
Sun, Y., Mwangi, E. & Meinzen-Dick, R.
Year:
2011

Towards Customary Legal Empowerment in Namibia: Enhancing gender equality in customary justice systems

Full citation: Ubink, J.M. (2011). “Towards Customary Legal Empowerment in Namibia: Enhancing gender equality in customary justice systems.” International Development Law Organisation. - In Namibia, national authorities have made various interventions aimed at enhancing the functioning of customary law and traditional leadership. These efforts include both the creation of institutional linkages as well as community-based activities. One issue has been the position of women under customary law, and especially the fact that widows often have no rights to their deceased husbands’ lands. At a workshop, the traditional leaders present unanimously decided that widows should not be chased from their lands or out of their homes and that they should not be asked to pay again for the land. The president of the country was also a proponent of the change. This research found that this statement led to positive change. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Namibia
Creator:
Ubink, J.M.
Year:
2011

Empowering Widows: An Overview of policies and programmes in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka

Full citation: UN Women. (2014). “Empowering Widows: An Overview of policies and programmes in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.”
- This paper finds that strengthening engagement with civil society in the implementation of government programs results in a more enabling environment for widows to claim services, including land rights. Focus group discussions in India and Nepal showed that widows who were a part of this collaborative effort were more articulate, confident and aware of their rights. This played an important role in helping them claim their entitlements, including land rights. In Sri Lanka, widows have been able to take advantage of government programs for capacity building and skills training due to the partnership between the government and the groups working with widows. In the process, many widows have become agents of change in their community. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
Multiple Countries, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India
Creator:
UN Women
Year:
2014