On Friday, April 20th, I had the pleasure of participating in the Her Land Her Story webinar, co-hosted by the Cadasta Foundation, the Land Portal Foundation, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It was a wonderful chance to learn more about the Her Land Her Story campaign, which launched on International Women’s Day and ran until April 13th. It featured the stories of 27 different women from around the world to raise awareness of the importance of women’s land rights.
The panelists included representatives from Cadasta, Land Portal, Landesa, and Suelo Urbano. What struck me most was that all five of us, despite different backgrounds and different perspectives, had the same core message about how and why to secure women’s rights to land. To truly ensure that women’s rights are secure, we need to get both political and social buy-in, to pay attention to and respect culture, and to include the whole community from the beginning of any effort.
Most importantly, we must start with and include women. I presented on Resource Equity’s Starting with Women approach, which is a structured process for making sure women are never an afterthought in projects. Its core is about designing projects in a way that respects the autonomy and self-determination of women. Women’s needs and aspirations are the drivers of a project throughout its life.