Resource Equity supports new research on interventions to advance women’s land and resource rights, particularly asking the question of whether particular interventions are effective at improving women’s land tenure security. Our aim was to hear from local researchers on the projects that were of interest to them on this question and to learn how they interpret the findings. The objectives of the research were to both contribute to the body of knowledge on gender-differentiated results of interventions that seek to reform land and resource tenure in a given context and to understand the attributes of interventions, policies, and reforms that make them better or worse for women. Ultimately we also wanted to strengthen capacity to do research on gender and land rights in a way that helps to shift and shape policy and practice.
Despite delays caused by the global pandemic, we’re proud to host a webinar with three of the five research papers supported by Resource Equity (register for the webinar here).
Panelists will be Betty Okero from CSO Network Kenya, Yannick Wild from Green Scenery Sierra Leone, and Gulzat Namatbekova from Kyrgyzstan. More information on panellists and links to their papers are available below.
The panel will be moderated by Elisa Scalise, Resource Equity’s Executive Director (bio), and will be recorded and shared with those who register.
Date: Wednesday 8th September 2021
Time: Corresponding GMT/UTC 12:00:00 noon (60 minutes duration)
(Addis Abba 3:00 pm, Mexico City 7:00 am, Mumbai 5.30 pm, Cape Town 2:00 pm, Casablanca 1:00 pm, Tehran 4:30 pm, Rio De Janeiro 9:00 am, Rome 2:00 pm, New York 8:00 am, Monrovia 12:00 noon)
To What Extent Have Judicial and Non-Judicial Rulings Translated to the Success of Women’s Land Tenure in Western Kenya, presented by Betty Okero, CSO Network Kenya. Kenya has adopted many legal protections for women’s land rights in its Constitution and legislation. Additional policies and land registration processes have been enacted to improve land tenure security, including for women. However, women still face significant hurdles in exercising these rights. Kenya recognizes customary law and has a dualistic character where formal systems and traditional informal systems are available for conflict resolution, including regarding customary lands. Customary law applies to about 65% of land and in many cases is discriminatory towards women with women only holding secondary land access rights through a male family member or husband. Aside from a few matriarchal communities, patriarchal values throughout the country lead to men holding and inheriting the vast majority of land. Only about 5% of women hold formal legal title to their land. Full version of the paper is available here.
How Effective is the Promotion of Women’s Customary Land Rights in Improving Women’s Land Tenure Security in Sierra Leone? Presented by Yannick Wild, Green Scenery. This case study analyses the impact of an FAO project, Promoting Women’s Customary Land Rights In Sierra Leone, in two rural villages in ensuring that women are better able to claim their customary rights to land. The project provided women with farming materials and training on tenure rights and established village land committees with by-laws to protect women’s land rights and ensure their participation in decision making. The project also demarcated and recorded the boundaries of family land. Read the full version here.
The Impact of Land Rights Reforms for Women in Kyrgyzstan, Gulzat Namatbekova. Post-Soviet reforms in Kyrgyzstan during the 1990s and early 2000s included the allocation of land for long time use and eventual ownership to residents. 75% of arable land, including over 1 million hectares of agriculture land, was distributed during this period. Land certificates named all family members, including minor children, and over half of all shares were distributed to women. However, census data and survey reports since initial distributions reveal that land ownership by women, and especially rural women, has significantly declined. The paper analyses a series of land rights reforms and traditional gendered social practices for their impact on households and women’s land rights. Researchers surveyed women, village leaders, and local government officials from land and social institutions from selected villages in both the northern and southern regions of the country. The full paper is available here.