Starting With Women
Women's rights to land are not secure
Across the world, women’s rights to land and resources are key to increasing food security, reducing poverty, and mitigating conflict. Yet, in most developing countries existing laws do little to protect those rights. Even where legal rights to land for women exist, persistent challenges–from cultural barriers to a lack of understanding in government–prevent women from realizing the promise of those rights.
But women can realize their rights to land
The Starting with Women approach begins by asking what rights women have to land, and moves on to strengthen and secure those rights, both within families and in the community.
The approach starts from the view that women in all communities know what they want and need in terms of their land rights, and that with information, guidance, and support from one another, they can develop a plan to get what they want and need. And over the years, we’ve seen evidence that this is true.
There is a great change in the way women land conflict cases are handled by the families and elders because of the influence of the project.
Female participant, Focus Group Discussion, Apwor parish, Puranga sub county, Uganda
Men have now started showing their wives land demarcations and giving them more access to the land because they have learnt and now recognize women land rights.
Female participant, Te-okutu parish, Lira Palwo sub county, Uganda
Because of her participation in the project, my wife has now asked me to give her more land for cultivation and there is generally more respect between us.
Family Head interview, Agengo parish, Lira Palwo sub county, Uganda
Examples of the Starting With Women approach in action:
The Starting with Women Approach in Uganda
The Starting with Women approach is a pragmatic, adaptive framework and approach for understanding and taking action to strengthen women’s land tenure security in the context of customary tenure in northern Uganda.
The downloadable toolkit presents a framework and suggests its potential as an analytical foundation for assessing the security of land rights, for designing projects or developing policies that protect and strengthen women’s land rights, and for evaluating the effectiveness of such policies or projects.
The Starting with Women approach is currently being adapted to help women leverage the benefits and minimize the risks of mining investments. The project involves developing and piloting tools to support and enhance gender sensitivity in extractive industry investments.
The goal is to evolve and adopt business models that support strengthened and more effective civil society engagement, better-informed local government, and more effective, consultative, and inclusive private sector actors.
Starting With Women Pamphlet
For more information, see our pamphlet.