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Webinar Q&As: What Works for Women on Collective Lands?

Renee Giovarelli shares answers to questions posed by webinar participants that we weren't able to address during the Q&A session.

Q: [Gendered violence] is very widespread, of course – and your (wonderful) projects cannot address everything. But does this ever come up as a topic discussed explicitly? Or perhaps just hovers as a threat in the background? — Susie

A: GBV and land rights is a research topic, so in that way it is brought up explicitly. As well, when we interview women, the topic is almost always raised, but usually more as a fact of life.

This topic comes up in our 2020 research paper, What Works for Women’s Land and Property Rights? What we know and what we need to know

Q: Do you think there is a space for transnational/trans regional policies or initiatives to improve women’s land security or is this work better done on an individual community level? — Maya

A: There are ongoing initiatives that are transnational/trans regional. The best example is the Africa Land Policy Center (ALPC), which broadly focuses on land rights and also does specific work in the area of women’s land rights.

So, yes, there is a place for broader policy. But for implementation of those policies, the focus is still at the national and community level.

Q: I’m currently examining the dynamics of authority/control over land over collective property in Afro-descendant community councils in Colombia. Preliminary findings show women are allocated less land (size), involvement in decision making structures are low, which in turn affects women’s ability to influence decisions over land. Question: To what extent do we require government to intervene to ensure equity and fairness in how these autonomous or semi-autonomous bodies are run? — Juliana

A: Donors funding specific projects may require quotas for women on these governance structures and may support training for women’s participation, but there is not much happening outside of those projects.

We have worked with governments on legislation, including regulations, of governance bodies as technical advisors, but we cannot require governments to intervene.

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