Update on Resource Equity

After nearly a decade of working together, Resource Equity has made the difficult decision to close and pursue other opportunities.

We are in the process of trying to secure new homes for the Women’s Land Rights Institute and LandWise legal database, so please stay tuned for more information. In the meantime, these resources will continue to be hosted here.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years!

Women's Land Rights Institute

We empower the people who empower women around the world

The Women’s Land Rights Institute is focused on expanding the enabling environment for the advancement of women’s land and resource rights around the world.

Through our core Foundations course, topically-focused intensives, dynamic workshops, and expert-led webinars, we share field-tested strategies for making substantial change for women through the secure access to land and resources.

Our innovative and practical curriculum is rooted in our faculty’s deep experience working globally for over two decades, enhanced by guest lecturers and the diverse perspectives of our students.

Please join us for one of our upcoming courses!

Women's Land Rights Institute - Foundations


Our foundational courses take a holistic approach, give you the opportunity to explore best practices in advancing women's land and resource rights. They generally meet once per week for 10 weeks.

If you're new to the field, start here!

Women's Land Rights Institute - Intensives


Intensive courses present a deep dive into a specific topic, issue, or solution that we've worked on in the field. Guided by our faculty, these courses often host guest experts presenting detailed case analyses. They're generally concentrated into four sessions over 2 weeks.

Available Courses

Webinars & Workshops

Our team regularly engages in industry workshops and webinars, which provide overviews on best practices, lessons learned during field work, recent research findings, and more.

Check out records of our most recent events.

Available Events

Meet Our Alumni

Where Our Alumni Work

Institute Faculty

Renee Giovarelli

Renee Giovarelli

Resource Equity Co-Founder, Senior Gender Adviser and Lawyer

For 20 years, Renee has focused on the legal and sociological issues central to gender equity in access to land and natural resources. Her work has helped inform core policy positions on issues related to access, use, and control over land and resources for leading international development organizations.

Elisa Scalise

Elisa Scalise

Resource Equity Co-Founder, Gender and Land Tenure Lawyer

Elisa is the Executive Director of Resource Equity and is also a gender and land tenure lawyer. For over 15 years, Elisa has worked on research into and the design of laws, policies, and programs that improve women’s rights to land and natural resources, strengthen women’s involvement in decision-making and governance of land.

We’d love the opportunity to teach a custom course at your organization.

For more information on the Women’s Land Rights Institute, please contact Kurstin Browne at institute@resourceequity.org


The Resource Equity Women’s Land Rights Institute is an initiative supported by Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

Equal property rights for women is a crucial global development goal. Generating awareness about the strategies necessary to achieve equality is a critical step on the path to achieving that goal.

Laura Meggiolaro - Land Portal Foundation

International Land Coalition

As a development community, we have some way to go before we can say that there is broad understanding of what works in practice to make a change in women’s lives through land rights. I believe that this course is an important step in addressing that challenge.

Jolyne Sanjak - Tetra tecH

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Renee Giovarelli

Renee Giovarelli, JD LLM

Senior Attorney and Advisor
20 years of experience

Renée, a lawyer, started working on land rights in 1995 in Kyrgyzstan. At that time, Kyrgyzstan’s legal system was changing, and new laws needed drafting to break up large Soviet farms and equitably distribute the land to the members of the former collective or state farm. Renée continued to advise the Kyrgyz Government and work in Kyrgyzstan for the next 15 years. During this time, Renée also advised other former Soviet and Eastern European countries, including Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Bulgaria.

In 2000, Renée’s research and practice began to focus on women’s land rights. She provided legal and policy advice on gender-inclusive reforms to donors and the governments of India, Uganda, China, Ghana, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Lesotho, and Ethiopia.

Renée has completed research in Indonesia and Jordan and written extensively on the barriers and opportunities women face in claiming land and resource rights. Most of Renée’s work is related to land used for agriculture and household food security, pastureland, and forestland. Renée is a co-founder of Resource Equity, where she applies her skills and experience by working with partners to improve the lives of women around the world.

Elisa Scalise

Elisa Scalise, JD

Executive Director

Elisa is Executive Director of Resource Equity and is also a gender and land tenure lawyer. For over 15 years Elisa has worked on research into and design of laws, policies and programs that: improve women’s rights to land and natural resources; strengthen women’s involvement in decision-making and governance of land; improve equity in administration of rights and benefits attached to land; and facilitate enforcement of women’s rights in justice systems.

Elisa has worked on and lead long term projects in Cabo Verde, Rwanda, Uganda, Kyrgyz Republic, China, Liberia, and Morocco. She has conducted field-based assessments in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Kenya, India, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Peru, and Namibia, and has conducted analysis of legal and customary tenure frameworks in Solomon Islands, Cote D’Ivoire, Malawi, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

She is also leading the Resource Equity’s Institute and the Women’s Land Rights Research Consortium grant-making on research that uncovers the effectiveness of interventions to improve women’s land tenure security.

In 2015, Elisa co-founded Resource Equity, and is the Executive Director, leading the organization’s operations and management.