This commentary highlights challenges women face in securing land rights and identifies ways to address them. It offers policymakers, development agencies, donors, land rights NGOs, practitioners, and researchers a snapshot of the land tenure landscape that can inform policies, interventions, advocacy, and research on women’s land rights.
Sustainable Development Goal 5
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Gender inequality is pervasive across the world and progress is halted or declining on all but a few indicators. Mounting evidence shows that advancements in gender equality could have a profoundly positive impact on social and environmental well-being—and vice versa—if managed well. But if not managed properly, some environment projects can actually worsen gender inequality.
At WRI we actively seek opportunities to draw on these insights in our work. WRI’s Gender and Social Equity Initiative works across WRI to ensure that gender and equity issues are incorporated into our research and analysis to ensure that we not only ‘do no harm,’ but that we advance gender equality. WRI research and stakeholder engagement identifies and advances enabling conditions for women’s meaningful participation in decision-making (SDG 5.5) and equitable access to resources (SDG 5.1, SDG 5.A, SDG 5.C). Our Land and Resource Rights Practice promotes women’s equal rights to govern, use and benefit from land and resources within indigenous and customary communities, including those governed by collective tenure systems.
Women have historically been left out of infrastructure fields like energy and transport. Will the low-carbon transition offer more job opportunities for women?
This Commentary discusses how securing community land across the world will enable countries to accelerate progress on many SDGs as well as their climate targets. Given the looming threat climate change poses to both environmental and development progress, the time to secure these lands is now.
Research shows that water projects can become more effective when women participate. So why are they still being left out?
In a study of corporate land deals with rural communities in Tanzania and Mozambique, women consistently received less in return for their land, and had a harder time once they were relocated—despite national commitments to gender equality.
Advancing women’s land right rights is critical to achieving gender equality. But WRI’s new working paper A Fair Share for Women: Toward More Equitable Land Compensation and Resettlement in Tanzania and Mozambique finds that, despite constitutional commitments to gender equality, governments in Tanzania and Mozambique are not protecting women from harmful commercial land deals. State officials’ failure to close gaps in land laws and overhaul ineffective regulations shortchanges women who receive little to no payment for their families’ land, while attempts to amplify women’s voices in community land decision-making are also falling short.