When Women are Land Owners, Everybody Wins

Land rights have been receiving a lot of attention recently from developing countries looking to drastically improve their economic position. Most specifically, the issue of gender and land rights has been raised with many experts saying that the key to true economic reform is equal opportunity land ownership.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently opened a new database, entitled the Gender and Land Rights Database, which focuses on elements which can close the chasm between gender and land ownership.

From the UN FAO Press release:

“Decision-makers at all levels now have, on the one hand, a comprehensive source of information on the more relevant factors affecting the equality of land rights in their countries and, on the other hand, the possibility to make comparisons between trends and situations in their own and other countries,” FAO Gender and Development Research Officer Zoraida Garcia said.

One of the primary problems associated with gender and land rights is formal law versus cultural practice. In many countries, while the government officially grants women the right to own property, it is culturally unacceptable or shameful for them to do so. The UN FAO and other economic organizations are working with developing countries to break this norm and improve economic conditions for everyone.

The Property Rights Alliance, in conjunction with international economic think tanks, has studied the disparity between gender and land rights and the results have been published in the annual International Property Rights Index. To view statistics from the 2009 IPRI, click here.
The 2010 IPRI, set to be released on Tuesday, February 23, will have even more information regarding positive trends in women’s land rights around the world. Click here to view the launch event invitation.

If you would like to join us for the 2010 IPRI launch event, please RSVP to kzahourek@propertyrightsalliance.org