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Tourism induced land grabbing is rampant in SIDS (small island developing states). What is the state of the research on land grabbing in small island states and on the assessment and impact on communities, specifically with regard to climate adaptation as well as mitigation? What are the findings?

Tourism-induced land grabbing occurs when governments and businesses obtain land otherwise used by men, women, and communities without adhering to good or best practices for land acquisition. To attract investment, governments may promote or facilitate the acquisition of land by businesses, or businesses that may later purchase or lease it from the government. Businesses may acquire the land directly through purchase or lease from individual or community owners, without following good practices. Land grabbing is a problem in SIDS (for investment in tourism, agriculture, and other uses), as it is around the world. Climate change is driving mitigation and adaptation measures and responses that are testing land rights and uses in SIDS and around the world. Behind all of these realities, best practices for land acquisition exist.

Best Practices – Land Acquisition

There are best practices for socially-responsible land acquisition, whether the acquisition is for tourism, agriculture, extractives, urban or peri-urban development, or other use. The practices are set out in international principles, guidelines, and guides published by international organizations (UN and others), development finance institutions (World Bank and others), donors (USAID, UK FCDO, and others), and NGOs. They include, but are not limited to:

Socially Responsible Land Acquisition: International Principles, Guidelines, and Guides
Name and Responsible Party Date Primary Audience
Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), UN Office of the High Commissioner 2011 All (states, businesses, civil society, donors, others)
Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), UN Food and Agriculture Organisation 2012 States, businesses, investors, other non-state actors
Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments in Africa (AUGP), African Union 2014 AU states, businesses, investors
Due Diligence Guidance for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractive Sector (OECDG), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2017 Businesses
Responsible Governance of Tenure: A Technical Guide for Investors (FAOTG), UN Food and Agriculture Organisation 2016 Investors and lenders
Respecting Land and Forest Rights: A Guide for Companies (IGG), Interlaken Group 2015 Businesses
Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability, IFC 2012 (with updates) Private and sovereign state borrowers
Operational Guidelines for Responsible Land-Based Investment, USAID 2015 Businesses

Each of these expressly or implicitly call out some or all of a set of best practices that would result in socially-responsible acquisition of land. The practices are:

  1. Respect for human rights
  2. Respect for legitimate tenure rights
  3. National governance framework due diligence and gap analysis
  4. Stakeholder (land rightsholder) mapping
  5. Stakeholder consultation and engagement
  6. Inclusion and consideration of women and vulnerable groups
  7. Comprehensive social impact assessment
  8. Impact avoidance or mitigation
  9. Identification of formal and customary/informal land rights
  10. Negotiation and payment of fair compensation
  11. State expropriation validation: public purpose, due process, fair compensation
  12. Free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC)
  13. Establishing investment-specific grievance mechanisms
  14. Monitoring and evaluation

Some of the practices are clearly land-focused by definition. Identification and recognition of customary/informal land rights is an example. Other of the practices are more generally associated with sound implementation of environmental and social standards. Stakeholder consultation and engagement and comprehensive social impact assessment are examples. The practices are intended to bring about a core set of outcomes related to respect for land rights, equity, rule of law, inclusivity, self-determination, livelihoods, human rights, and other social and economic objectives. The best practices are intended to honor and protect the land and resource rights of all affected women, men, and communities.

Importantly, governments, when using expropriation to obtain land for the benefit of third-party investors, should also be subject to the best practices. Government expropriation should always be in conformance with national laws, done for a legitimate public purpose, include due process (notice, an opportunity to be heard, and a right to appeal), and include fair and timely compensation. If a government seeks land from individuals or communities for other than legitimate public purposes, its acquisition should include FPIC.

Importantly, women may not benefit from good or best practices even when they are used by businesses and governments for a number of reasons. First, women’s social status can strict their participation in land- and resource-related rights and decision-making. Plus, without a special effort to position women as beneficiaries of best practices, their land rights and uses may simply remain unrecognized when land is acquired and compensation is paid to households.

Finally, we know that best practices are not always embraced by governments and businesses, and land grabbing can be the result.

Climate Change and Land Grabbing

Impacts from climate change can prompt uncertainty around land rights and spur land acquisitions or land use changes for both mitigation and adaptation. As climate change impacts and policies evolve, land uses shift between cropland, pasture/rangelands, forest, and the built environment. At the same time, land rights are often tested, challenged, violated, and/or become subject to transfer or forfeit. “Climate grabbing,” where land is acquired for purposes of carbon mitigation, is one example of land acquisition born of climate change impacts. Observers are in agreement that best practices for land acquisition need to be used when governments obtain or mandatorily change the use of land for

purposes of climate change impact mitigation, through such tools as REDD+ or other forest preservation or regeneration efforts. FPIC is key to equitable acquisition of land for climate change mitigation.[1]

Where governments obtain or change the use of land through expropriation, best practices are critical. If relocation or resettlement is a part of the process, best practices are again critical. The IFC Performance Standards or the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Standards (ESS) for resettlement are among the more progressive and equitable approaches. As with other applications of best practices, women will not necessarily benefit from them unless women’s rights, land uses, livelihoods, participation, and voices are emphasized.[2]

Climate change adaptation has been identified as a key land- and resource-related issue in SIDS, with those countries being seen as squarely “on the frontlines of climate change.” Observers are stressing “the importance of adaptation research in these complex and vulnerable geographies.” They underline the need for more accurate climate projections to enable better on-SIDS and cross-regional, comparative case studies. There has been little systematic research of adaptation-driven land conflict or land grabbing in SIDS. There is no question that climate adaptation on SIDS will test the strength and resiliency of land and resource rights.[3] Research on adaptation-driven land and resource impacts on SIDS should focus on women with particularity and quantitative data should be disaggregated by sex.

SIDS Tourism Land Grabbing

Land grabbing and other land acquisitions in SIDS and other countries for purposes of short-term and longer-term residential tourism is increasing globally. Host country governments often facilitate the investments in tourism as a means of attracting capital and longer-term economic benefits (jobs, construction, etc.). Like other investments in land – undertaken by both private sector actors and by governments on behalf of investors —  these should be done in adherence to best practices. Many are not.

An example from the Republic of Mauritius describes that government’s Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), where (with the participation of the local sugar industry) the government promotes the construction of resorts and gated communities. While private developers are required to undertake a social needs analysis and a social impacts assessment, there have been claims that the assessments and related impact mitigation are insufficient. Compensation intended to benefit affected land users and communities includes one-time payments for approved social projects, although these have been deemed inadequate to mitigate impacts. Studies aimed at examining longer-term impacts on communities have found: (1) increased property prices and subsequent displacement, along with an

increase in squatter settlements housing locals and migrant workers that have not been able to afford regular accommodation; (2) alienation of coastal and rural land to meet the need for related infrastructure and development; and (3) alienation of land by local communities because of “the foreignisation of space,” which prompts local households to part with their homes as visiting outsiders establish tourist communities.[1]

A recent online seminar sponsored by the Transforming Tourism Initiative (and hosted by the Asia-Europe People’s Forum) focused on “Addressing Land Rights and Corporate Accountability in the ‘Re-start’ of Tourism.” While acknowledging that Covid has meant that tourism has reduced dramatically and workers are suffering all around the world, panelists stressed that the development of new tourism infrastructure has not paused. They pointed to the reality that governments and the private sector are preparing for the ‘re-start’ of tourism that relies in many cases upon an extractive and abusive model often based on the exploitation of local people and the planet. The seminar addressed tourism land grabs and displacement, suggesting ways to move toward a transformation of the industry. Panelist suggestions and recommendations stressed: (1) the priority need for FPIC; (2) the recognition of the right of access to and control of natural resources of local communities including indigenous people and fisherfolk, and particularly women’s rights to natural resources; (3) acknowledgement of indigenous culture and knowledge, including through international and national laws and policies; (4) the inclusion of multiple sectors within the tourism sector to create a sustainable and inclusive tourism model; (5) demystifying tourism as an ‘innocent’ industry and ‘green development’ option that does no harm, by acknowledging and understanding the tourism-induced risks and significant challenges to planet and people; and (6) a greater need to examine critically grand visions of mega tourism against smaller, more local initiatives that promote inclusion of local communities.[2]

It is clear that best practices for land acquisition – and for protecting women’s land rights and uses – have a place within the tourism industry. Increased accountability for governments and private sector investors is one key. Sensitization of global north tourists is another key to accountability. Land grabbing for tourism investment is as problematic as land grabbing for agricultural and extractives industries development. Harm to women land users is significant when land grabbing occurs – whether it is born of tourism or other investment targets. While the quantitative research on land grabbing (for any reason) in SIDS is sparse (as opposed to land grabbing in Africa, for example), it is clear that systematic study would be useful. It appears that tourism-induced land grabbing probably merits special attention.

[1] Neef (2021), Tourism, Land Grabs, and Displacement: The Darker Side of the Feel-Good Industry, Routledge.

[2] Transforming Tourism Initiative (18 May 2021), Transforming Tourism: Addressing Land Rights and Corporate Accountability in the ‘Re-start’ of Tourism, http://www.transforming-tourism.org/activities/seminars-covid-19/land-rights-aepf-2021.html.

[1] See Fuchs, Herold, Rounsevell, & Winkler, Global Land Use Changes are Four Times Greater than

Previously Estimated, Nature Communications (2021), https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22702-2, www.nature.com/naturecommunications; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2019), Climate Change and Land: An IPCC Special Report on Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security, and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems, www.ipcc.ch; Davis, Rulli, & D’Odorico (2015), The Global Land Rush and Climate Change, Earth’s Future, 3, 298–311, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-22702-2; Parola (2020), The Dangerous Rise of Land Grabbing through Climate Change Mitigation Policies: The Examples of Biofuel and REDD+, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO/Brazil).

[2] World Bank Environmental and Social Standards (2017), https://www.worldbank.org/en/projects-operations/environmental-and-social-framework/brief/environmental-and-social-standards.

[3] See Robinson (2020), Climate Change Adaptation in SIDS: A Systematic Review of the Literature Pre and Post the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, IPCC, https://doi.org/10.1002/wcc.653.

[4] Neef (2021), Tourism, Land Grabs, and Displacement: The Darker Side of the Feel-Good Industry, Routledge.

[5] Transforming Tourism Initiative (18 May 2021), Transforming Tourism: Addressing Land Rights and Corporate Accountability in the ‘Re-start’ of Tourism, http://www.transforming-tourism.org/activities/seminars-covid-19/land-rights-aepf-2021.html.

Further Reading

Shown below are a number of additional readings that may be of interest to you:






HIV/AIDS and Land Grabbing – Answer Authored by David Bledsoe- Resource Equity

Generally, we know that widows can be targets for land grabbing when their spouses have died, particularly under customary land tenure regimes that preclude women from inheriting land (with the land passing to or grabbed by males within the deceased husband’s lineage) (See Giovarelli & Scalise, 2020. https://resourceequity.org/record/3175-evidence-brief-do-inheritance-reforms-work-for-women/ ). So, to the extent that HIV/AIDS or other disease triggers increase husband mortality, the risk of land grabbing from widows increases.

Despite this risk, some point to other customary practices or to formal legal mechanisms that provide for some protections via a small inheritance for women of a family house or small parcel of land (See Ghana Intestate Succession Law for a formal example). Others suggest that HIV/AIDS has undermined these customary and formal protections (Food and Agriculture Organisation, 2008). They suggest a related increase in land grabbing by relatives of the deceased male spouse (Mendenhall et al., 2007), and that the targeted women can have difficulties in obtaining legal protection even when it is supposedly available (Izumi, 2006).

To the extent that Covid-19 increases husband mortality, it would likely increase the opportunities for land grabbing from widows. We have also seen recent literature on “Covid-19 Backsliding,” that suggests that governments are increasingly stepping away from positive enforcement of laws and regulations in such areas as the environment, labor, private sector compliance, and social safeguards (such as providing recourse to widows that have illegally lost land) (See https://resourceequity.org/preserving-best-practice-in-the-age-of-covid19/ ).

There is limited research focused specifically on changing social norms and land rights, including inheritance. Broadly speaking, any intervention that empowers women can create social change for the women or for their households or communities, including things like women gaining knowledge of their rights or being supported in going to dispute resolution bodies. Social norm change, in the larger cultural context, requires involving the community, men and boys, women and girls, community leaders, elders—the people who create and abide by the cultural context.

Although legal change does not, in itself, create social change, a progressive legal framework can create a space for social norm change where none existed before. Studies from India indicated that the legal reforms that enabled daughters and sons to inherit equally, increased women’s likelihood of inheriting land, although they did not close the bias gap.[1] As well, legal quotas on women’s participation in the political process or on governing bodies related to land and other natural resources create a starting place for women’s engagement, even though that engagement goes against social norms.[2] Under any progressive legal framework, local capacity to implement or to accommodate implementation by others is also necessary for social change to become real and sustainable.

A report looking at women’s agency and social norms found that evidence suggests that public actions are needed on two broad fronts: first, to enhance women’s and girls’ own sense of capacity and their aspirations to depart from existing limiting gender norms and their associated behaviors (Perova and Vakis 2013), and second, to change behaviors of women and men, boys and girls so that social norms become gender equal. Politics and collective action are important on both fronts.[3]

Behavior change communication with men and boys as well as households and communities has been shown to be effective, especially in the areas of intimate partner violence and women’s health. Involving community leaders and including communities in conversations about social change also shows promise. For example, in Senegal, community-based awareness campaigns enlisted the support of religious leaders to successfully reduce the accepted practice of female genital cutting. In Afghanistan and Ethiopia, community awareness projects have successfully reduced the incidence of early marriage (Mackie 2000; Malhotra et al. 2011).[4]

The report also suggests using broadcast media and provides examples of success, such as:

  • In South Africa, exposure to a television series focused on domestic violence was linked to an increase in help-seeking and support-giving behaviors.
  • In India, the arrival of cable television was associated with significant increases in women’s reported autonomy, decreases in the reported acceptability of wife beating, and decreases in reported son preference. Female school enrollment also increased, along with increased birth spacing. The impacts were stronger where women held more traditional attitudes—in places where women had formerly held high preferences for sons, the share preferring sons fell 20 percentage points with the arrival of cable television, compared with a 12 percent decline overall (Jensen and Oster 2009).
  • In post-genocide Rwanda, radio programming designed to challenge social norms of deference to authority had substantial impacts in terms of increasing willingness to express dissent and reducing the likelihood of listeners deferring to local officials when solving local problems (Paluk and Green 2009).

[1] Deininger, K., Goyal, A., & Nagarajan, H. (2013). Women’s inheritance rights and the intergenerational transmission of resources in India. The Journal of Human Resources, 48(1): 114-141.

[2] Cook, N. J., Grillos, T., Andersson, K. P., (2019) Gender Quotas Increase the Equality and Effectivness of Climage Policy Interventions, Nature Climate Change 9, 330-334; Beaman, L., Chattopadhyay, R., Duflo, E., Pande, R., and Topalova, P. (2009). ‘Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias’, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 124, no. 4, pp. 1497-1540

[3]Klugman, Jeni; Hanmer, Lucia; Twigg, Sarah; Hasan, Tazeen; McCleary-Sills, Jennifer; Santamaria, Julieth. 2014. Voice and Agency : Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity. Washington, DC: World Bank Group

[4] Klugman, Jeni; Hanmer, Lucia; Twigg, Sarah; Hasan, Tazeen; McCleary-Sills, Jennifer; Santamaria, Julieth. 2014. Voice and Agency : Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity. Washington, DC: World Bank Group.

This is not an easy question. What works often depends on the context, and social norm change can take a long time. But there are some things we know:

  • The formal law can give the space for social norm change. If the law requires a norm change (daughters inheriting or quotas for local governance) change does begin to occur.[1]
  • When people in government/leadership do not see women’s rights specifically as a goal or see women’s exclusion as a problem that needs to be addressed, overall, gender awareness – or, specifically, awareness that women may have specific needs and expectations from reforms or require specific attention – among the government officials/local leaders can make a difference.[2]
  • Women’s participation in groups, such as self-help groups can change social norms and traditions, particularly those around women’s participation in agriculture[3]
  • Where social norms are deeply entrenched, it is critical to design interventions that include community leaders and those with the power to endorse change (most often men). Successful programs to reduce gender-based violence have enlisted community leaders and have sought endorsement from the broader community).[4]
  • Including women and youth in governance reduces the negative effects of male-only leadership (“similarities between the leadership and the general population in terms of gender and age, and active participation by women and young adults in community groups, alleviate the negative effects of heterogeneity and increase collective capacity, which in turn improves agriculture productivity and welfare.”)[5]
  • When women organise, when they form into groups and connect with others in larger groups, they are better able to make changes in their own lives, in their communities, in legislation, and in restrictive social and norms.[6]

For further reading:  Drivers of change in gender norms: An annotated bibliography

[1] Mansuri, Ghazala Rao, Vijayendra. 2012. Localizing Development: Does Participation Work? https://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/abs/10.1596/978-0-8213-8256-1

[2] Anne M. Larson, Iliana Monterroso and Pamela Cantuarias, Gender and the formalization of native communities in the Peruvian Amazon, CIFOR, 2019;Kaa

[3] Raghunathan, Kalyani, et al. “Can Women’s Self‐Help Groups Improve Access to Information, Decision‐Making, and Agricultural Practices? The Indian Case.” Agricultural Economics, vol. 50, no. 5, 2019, pp. 567–580. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/agec.12510

[4] Klugman, Jeni; Hanmer, Lucia; Twigg, Sarah; Hasan, Tazeen; McCleary-Sills, Jennifer; Santamaria, Julieth. 2014. Voice and Agency : Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity. Washington, DC: World Bank Group

[5] McCarthy, N., & Kilic, T. (2015). The nexus between gender, collective action for public goods and agriculture: Evidence from Malawi. Agricultural Economics, 46(3), 375-402. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/agec.12170

[6] Hannay, L. (2016). “Peru Case Study,” in Gender and Collectively Held Land: Good Practices and Lessons Learned from Six Global Case Studies. Seattle: Resource Equity. Freudenburg, M. and Santos, F. (2013). “Enhancing Customary Justice Systems in the Mau Forest, Kenya: Impact Evaluation Report.” USAID.

Unfortunately, I could not find specific data on the percentage of women who have obtained title deeds under customary ownership. The figures I was able to get are all from the FAO database and primarily relate to agricultural land: http://www.fao.org/gender-landrights-database/data-map/statistics/en/?sta_id=1164.

According to the agricultural census from 2002, 19.7 percent of agricultural holders were women and 80.3 percent were men. The agricultural holder is the person who makes the major decisions regarding resource use and exercises management control over the agricultural holding

Of total agricultural land owners, 45.2 percent were women and 54.8 percent were men in 2013 (LSMS-ISA 2012-2013). The agricultural landowner is defined as the legal owner of the agricultural land, but the indicator may not necessarily reflect documented ownership certified by a legal document.

Of total household agricultural land, 16 percent is owned by women and 44 percent is owned by men; 39 percent is owned jointly by women and men (LSMS, 2010-2011,[1] Doss et al. 2015)[2]

While the legal framework generally upholds women’s rights to land, in rural areas patriarchal practices predominate whereby men are de facto heads of households and have greater rights to land than women. The law is still weak in regard to women’s inheritance rights to land, and inheritance practices discriminate severely against women (FAO GLRD, country study).

Under the Village Land Act, seven-member Village Land Councils must be comprised of at least three women. The Village Land Council has a minimum quorum of four members, at least two of whom must be women. The Act provides that the nine-member Village Adjudication Committees, tasked in part with safeguarding women’s interests, must be comprised of at least four women. Five members are required for a quorum; at least two of which must be women (FAO GLRD, country study).

The Land Act of 1999 (Part XII) provides the legal framework for shared tenure. The Act recognizes two forms of shared tenure, joint occupancy and occupancy in common. Joint occupancy can only be created among spouses and exists when land as a whole is occupied jointly under a right of occupancy or lease. This means that: (a) there can be no disposition without agreement by all occupiers; (b) the joint occupiers—while alive—can only transfer their interest to the other joint occupier(s); and (c) when a joint occupier dies, interest vests in the surviving occupier (or occupiers, in which case jointly) (FAO GLRD, country study).

With occupancy in common, each occupier is entitled to an undivided share in the whole. The implications are that: (1) any occupier in common needs the consent in writing of the other occupier(s) before he or she can transact his or her interest to another person, but consent cannot be “unreasonably” withheld and (2) when an occupier dies, his or her share becomes part of the estate and his or her heir inherits the land. The legal presumption is that spouses hold all land that is co-occupied and used by both (or all) as occupiers in common, and the presumption of co-occupancy for spouses applies to granted rights (certificate of occupancy) and customary rights (customary certificate of occupancy). Co-occupancy is not presumed, under the Land Act, to apply to land that belonged to one spouse prior to the marriage (FAO GLRD, country study).

The Law of Marriage Act prohibits one spouse from alienating his or her interest in the matrimonial home (including associated agricultural land allocated by a husband or wife to his or her spouse for exclusive use) without the consent of the other spouse(s) (FAO GLRD, country study).

Click Here for a recent article that discusses the issues your question raises.  The article has case studies and gives a good feel for the issues faced by women but does not have hard statistics.

[1] Living Standard Measurement Study (LSMS) survey. LSMS-ISA (LSMS-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture)
[2] Doss, C., Kovarik, C., Peterman, A., Quisuming, A.R., Bold, M.V. den, 2015. Gender inequalities in ownership and control of land in Africa: Myth and Reality. Agricultural Economics 46(2).

There is some research that says, “yes.”  A paper given at the 2018 World Bank Land Conference found that financial conditionality was motivation for joint titling.

Cherchi, Ludovica; Goldstein, Markus; Habyarimana, James; Montalvao, Joao; O’Sullivan, Michael; and Udry, Chris, “Incentives for Joint Land Titling: Experimental Evidence from Uganda,” 2018 World Bank Conference On Land And Poverty, The World Bank – Washington DC, March 19-23, 2018.

That research looked at conditionality and gender information as motivation for joint titling—together and separate—in Uganda. The research found that:

Imposing conditionality raised co-titling probability by 31% among gender uninformed HHs, and by 14% among informed HH.

  • Providing information raised co-titling probability by 16% among HH offered titles unconditionally, and no impact among HH offered titles conditionally.

  • Fully-subsidized land titles successfully generated high overall demand for titling, as well as for co-titling.

  • Imposing gender conditionality on subsidy raised demand for co-titling, without dampening overall demand for titling.

  • Providing additional gender information in isolation further raises demand for co-titling, though not as much as the conditionality, and has no impact on demand for titling.

A reduction in the stamp duty, for lands registered in the name of women, has encouraged women’s property ownership rights in some states in India (e.g. Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi). https://landportal.org/debates/2017/womens-land-rights-india-and-sustainable-development-goals-sdgs

  • Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

  • Target 1.4: By 2030, aims to ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.

  • Indicator 1.4.2: Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, with legally recognized documentation, and who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and by type of tenure.

  • Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

  • Target 5.a: Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws.

  • Indicator 5.a.1: (a) Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land, by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rights-bearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure.

The first place to look is on the UNSTAT website:  https://unstats.un.org/sdgs. Under Quick Links, go to SDG database: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/indicators/database/. You will see at the bottom of that page that there is the ability to search for data on specific indicators, but indicator 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 do not have available data. However, if you click on metadata repository https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/metadata/, it will take you to a page where the indicators are listed.

On that page click on SDG 1.4.2 and also 5.a.1, and you will go to a page for each that will describe the following:

  • Institutional Information (which institution is responsible for the data collection, etc.)
  • Concepts and Definitions
  • Methodology
  • Data Sources
  • Data Availability
  • Data Calendar
  • Data Providers
  • Data Compilers
  • References

“The custodians of 1.4.2 together with FAO and UN Women, custodians of 5.a.1, developed a standardized, consolidated and succinct survey instrument with essential questions as data collection requirements are partly similar. The standardization of indicator definitions improves data comparability across countries. The scope and capacity for standardized data collection, analysis and reporting across NSOs is expected to rise with progressive data collection and implementation of the methodology. The module will be made available to NSOs (National Statistic Offices) for integration in survey instruments already in place, and will be used by other international household survey programs working with NSOs, (such as LSMS and UIS). The module can be used by any other complementary survey instrument implemented by other actors, using a data collection protocol that meets SDG 1.4.2 requirements, while the data produced are approved and reported by NSO to the custodians. In addition, both the USAID and the Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) have agreed to incorporate the essential questions from 5.a.1 and 1.4.2 into future land impact evaluations and has already done so for upcoming ones. The Property Rights Index initiative has integrated the SDG questions into its data collection tools on perceptions of tenure security. This range of efforts will further expand data availability and leverage efforts by NSOs to report on this indicator. Country-specific metadata will be elaborated that provides an inventory of the tenure types and type of documents in use, identifies which documents are legally recognized as evidence of land rights with images of each document, and elaborates on the correspondence between the two types of data sets (survey data and administrative data). This instrument will ensure consistency of definitions across countries. These country specific metadata will also be used for customizing surveys.” (emphasis added)

The Gender and Land Rights Statistical Database (http://www.fao.org/gender-landrights-database/en/) provides what data is available by country for the following indicators:

1f.           Distribution of Agricultural Holders by Sex (females)

1m.        Distribution of Agricultural Holders by Sex (males)

2f.           Distribution of Agricultural Landowners by Sex (females)

2m.        Distribution of Agricultural Landowners by Sex (males)

3f.            Incidence of Female Agricultural Landowners

3m.          Incidence of Male Agricultural Landowners

4f.            Distribution of Agricultural Land Area Owned by Sex (Females)

4m.          Distribution of Agricultural Land Area Owned by Sex (Males)

A technical note is available to explain the indicators, and you can view them by region or by country.

Yes. Here are two examples, but there are many more. Mozambique’s Family law (No 10/2004), states that immovable property, whether belonging to each spouse individually or as common property, may only be transferred to others with the express permission of both spouses. Section 40 of the Uganda Land Act states that spouses have the right to use, access and live on their husband’s land and they may withhold their consent to stop land transactions.

Several states in India have lowered the tax placed on legal documents usually in the transfer of assets or property (Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himchal Pradesh, Madya Pradesh, Maharastra, Punjab, and Utter Pradesh). In some states, if land is registered in the name of women, no (or reduced) stamp duty is charged. In other states, if a husband adds his wife to the title, no stamp duty is charged.

In Nepal, the government waives part of the land registration fee when land is registered in a woman’s name. The exemption started at 10 percent in 2006, increasing to 20 percent in 2007 and 25 percent in 2009. As a result, the amount of land registered in women’s names more than tripled. In Ghana, the number of documents registered by women in their own names in the deeds registration system increased substantially between 2005, when there were only two land registries in the whole country, and 2006, when land administration was decentralized and more registries were opened outside the capital. Decentralization was accompanied by a public awareness campaign, informing women and men about the opening of new deeds registry offices where they could register their documents (See, Governing land for women and men).

Other activities that encourage women’s names on documents include promoting the participation of women employees in the registration process and conducting public awareness campaigns that target women and inform them of the importance of land rights and registration, where rights can be registered and under which conditions – service fees, need of proof, etc.

Lao successfully encouraged women’s names to be included on documents by funding the Lao Women’s Union to educate and inform women of their rights. The Lao Women’s Union (LWU) is the official state organization that advocates for gender equity.  For a period of time, the LWU was a very active member of the titling brigades. Gender was integrated into the education, training and information dissemination activities at the village level by the LWU.

Be sure there are at least two signature lines on land documents.

In my opinion, laws against polygamy are ineffective at best and harmful to women at worst. Even though women very often do not want their husbands to take a second wife, and a second wife (and children) can stretch already limited resources, making polygamy illegal does not stop polygamy. But, if polygamy is illegal, subsequent marriages will be illegal and unregistered, and subsequent wives will have no legal rights to their husband’s income or assets. Second wives are often women who are vulnerable because they are young and have little or no income or choice about who they marry. I do not know who the “we” refers to in your question, but I think thoroughly understanding the issues related to polygamy for all women would be a critical first step. Where does polygamy occur? Under what conditions does polygamy occur? What is the attitude toward it in rural areas? Urban areas? What is the current law? What issues does the current law raise for first and second or subsequent wives? Who wants to change the law and why? What could the unintended consequences be? If polygamy, which was legal, is outlawed, the law should be very careful not to apply to current polygamous marriages—should not apply retroactively because that could be very harmful to women and children already in a polygamous family.

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