Who we are

Creating lasting change for women through land rights

Stronger land and resource rights for women changes lives and lifts people out of poverty. We’re a non-profit organization making a difference for the many women around the world who rely on land for food, income, and shelter. Our work closes the gap between law and practise on women’s land rights.
Our Story

At Resource Equity, we believe empowered women change the world

Evidence shows that giving women equitable land and resource rights brings social and economic progress.

We’ve seen it work in practice through our many years of experience. So, in 2014, we established Resource Equity as a global organization focused on women and land. We want to create a world that is equitable, secure, and empowering for women everywhere. We know that stronger land rights are a key step in making that happen.

Our team of gender and land tenure lawyers have been putting that experience and knowledge to work around the world, advocating for legal, policy, and social change. We serve as a global source for research, best practice, and policymaking.

We’re committed to collaborating with global partners to focus on women, land, and resources. We’re proud that our work with these partners has helped reduce poverty and improve women’s social, legal, and economic status. We know the impact reaches further than the individual. It enhances the lives of their families and communities as well.

Along with our local and international partners, we’re harnessing our expertise, to usher in a new era for women’s land rights.

What we do

We offer actionable insights and support to help reduce poverty by advancing women’s rights to land and natural resources. We do this by bridging the gap between laws, research, and practical application.

Find what you need

We provide a comprehensive library of laws that govern women’s rights to land and property and publications on customs, practice, and interventions so you can make informed decisions in policy, programming, and research.

We interpret what’s out there

We distil and analyze evidence on what works (or could work) for women’s land and property rights so that you can use that evidence in your work.

We answer your questions

We help you overcome barriers to women’s land and property rights, by providing detailed technical support, or answering your questions at our Help Desk.

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We learn together

We give you a forum to learn and to share knowledge, skills, and strategies on what works for women’s land and property rights, through structured training (with a credential), and topical seminars.

Where we've worked

Our team has worked on women’s land and resource issues in Africa (Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda); Asia and Pacific (China, India, Jordan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Vietnam); South America (Brazil and Peru); and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). We have worked for the World Bank, European Investment Bank, MCC, USAID, GIZ, DFID, the FAO, Rights and Resources Initiative, Ford Foundation, Care International, World Resources Institute, and many others.

Why land rights for women?

Even today, extreme poverty still exists. Statistics show that 10% of the global population lives on less than US$2 a day. Many of these 10% depend on land – for housing, for food, or for income. Yet their rights to that land are weak. This is true for men as well as for women, but global patterns indicate that women have less land, of lesser quality, and with weaker rights than men.

We believe that to achieve better outcomes for women, families, and communities, land rights initiatives must start with women.

We believe in practical and legal change.

Ensuring that women have secure rights to land and resources empowers women and promotes lasting economic growth, more resilient communities, and healthier societies.

The numbers tell a story

40%

Of countries have laws that limit women’s rights to property

Approximately 40 percent of the world’s 189 economies have at least one legal constraint on women’s rights to property, limiting their ability to own, manage, and inherit land.
World Bank, Women, Busines, and the Law 2018

Up to 150-million

More people could be fed if women had secure rights to land and the resources to make the most of land.

If women worldwide had the same access to productive resources as men (including land), they could increase yields on their farms by 20–30% and raise total agricultural output by 2.5–4%. Gains in agricultural production alone could lift 100 to 150-million people out of hunger.
Source: UN FAO (2012)

1%

The rate of female ownership of land in rural Morocco.

Of agricultural landowners, 4.4 percent are women and 95.6 percent are men.
Source: FAO Gender and Land Rights Database
WHY WE DO IT

Creating a space for lasting social change

By improving women’s land rights, we are creating space for social change – a change that helps women live better lives. There’s also a flow-on effect. 

When we support and look after the caretakers in the community, the mother’s and daughters, the whole community benefits in the long run.

Meet Our Board

Don Lichti

Don Lichti

Chairman of the Board

Don spent his working career in the healthcare field. The last 25 years were as a Hospital Administrator. Since retirement, he is involved with several small, not for profit organizations. 

Julie Shapiro

Julie Shapiro

Member of the Board

Julie Shapiro is a Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law.   She studies how the law adapts – or fails to adapt – to the myriad ways families are structured today.

Richard Gaynor

Richard Gaynor

Member of the Board

Richard’s short bio here

(maximum of 200 characters)

Get Involved

Help us to make a difference

The statistics show unequivocally that women across the globe face enormous barriers to their economic and physical wellbeing. They also show that by giving women equitable access to land and natural resources, we can lift poverty lines.

We cannot do this alone. Your financial support can make a difference. Become a partner in the global effort to improve women’s equity through land rights. Donate today.

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Julie Shapiro

Julie Shapiro

Julie Shapiro is a Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law.   She studies how the law adapts – or fails to adapt – to the myriad ways families are structured today.  She has written and spoken on the history of the legal treatment of non-traditional families (including lesbian, gay, and transgender families), the legal implications of assisted reproductive technology, and the controversy over same-sex marriage.  Her blog “Related Topics” (julieshapiro.wordpress.com) examines in depth the tensions among the various ways we define what it means to be a “parent.”

Applying theory to practice, Professor Shapiro has assisted Legal Voice (formerly the Northwest Women’s Law Center) in numerous lesbian and gay family law cases, including In re L.B., which established the rights of de facto parents in the state of Washington, and Andersen v. King County, the case challenging Washington’s Defense of Marriage Act. She serves on the National Family Law Advisory Committee of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.