land and gender

Land & Gender

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and promote gender equity in access to land, laws, institutions, and customary practices that are gender discriminatory need to be addressed.

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and promote gender-equitable land tenure, discriminatory laws, institutions, and customary practices need to be addressed.

From large land acquisitions that displace communities without due compensation, to the encroachment of mining on indigenous lands, to the brunt of climate change and natural disasters, to everyday land and property deprivation by kin or state, women are typically more harshly impacted by land tenure insecurity due to discriminatory laws and lingering social bias.

For millions of rural women their nexus to the land – their lifeline, home, livelihood, and social security – often teeters on the strength of their relationship to their father, husband, brother or son. In many contexts, they lack direct, unmediated rights to the land. They face layers of discrimination in both the law and in practice, fueled by their gender, race, ethnicity, affiliation, orientation, age, or social status.  

Laws and social norms impose barriers to women’s right to own and access to land. In more than half the world, laws, and more often gender bias, and discriminatory social norms[1] entrench women’s unequal rights to access, use, inherit, transfer, control, benefit from, and own land discount their input into decisions about the fate of their land, and dismiss their compensation or redress claims when the land is taken by an investor, corporation, powerful local leader, the government, or even their kin.

Research affirms that secure land rights can be transformational[2] for women, their families, and communities. The Global Agenda for Sustainable Development[3] spotlights land as a critical driver, and regional efforts reflect growing political support for women’s land rights. Broad coalitions of NGOs and civil society rally around regional and global calls. The Deliver for Good campaign[4] spotlights women’s land rights as critical to a holistic gender-responsive implementation of the sustainable development agenda. A recently launched Africa Land Policy Initiative campaign calls for 30 percent of documented land in women’s name individually or jointly[5].

Women across the globe have formed collectives and networks and forged innovative approaches to secure land rights for communities, within communities and households. Women to Kilimanjaro mobilized women across Africa to climb up the continent’s highest peak to stand up for women’s right to land[6]. Indigenous women in Latin America and Asia – often at great personal risk – are leading movements for rights to their land and resources[7].


Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parties indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.


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    Latest News

    18 October 2017

    The International day of Rural Women, which we celebrate today, is an annual event to recognise the role women play in agriculture and rural development.

    In Kenya where the foundation of most communities is agriculture and livestock production, women contribute up to 80 per cent of workforce yet they only hold 1 per cent of registered land in their names and around 5-6 per cent of registered titles are held in joint names (Kenya Land Alliance, 2013).

    9 October 2017

    On September 18th, a successful and informative webinar to discuss land-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), co-hosted by the Columbia Center on Sustainable Development (CCSI), the Land Portal Foundation, UN SDSN’s Thematic Network on Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources, the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), and the Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII), took place.  

    Handful of sea-buckthorns harvested in the mountains of Nepal. Asian Development Bank
    20 September 2017

    Land Portal Foundation and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) launch thematic portfolio on Land & Food Security

    Approximately 40 percent of the world’s land is used for crop production and pasture, but 800 million people remain food insecure and as many as 2 billion are malnourished. In the coming years, ensuring the world’s poor and vulnerable have access to and control over land will be critical to prevent devastating food shortages and starvation.

    13 September 2017

    Lusaka - When Zambian Lands Minister Judith Kapijimpanga announced recently that government had directed local authorities to intensify land allocation to women with immediate effect, there was general approval.

    When she urged the usually truculent traditional rulers to encourage women to own land of which 90 percent was under-utilised, the women's movements said they had scored a victory.

    But not everyone is optimistic. The Zambia National Land Alliance, a non-governmental organisation reviewing the land policy, says all this sounds well, but will be a long time coming.

    Latest Blogs


    By Frank Pichel, Interim CEO & Chief Programs Officer, Cadasta Foundation

    Across the continent, insecure rights to land are robbing millions of financial stability and long-term prosperity. While new technology is giving people the tools to define what’s theirs, governments must recognize that certainty of ownership is a prerequisite of sustainable development.

    •	Women in Burlobo community, Northern Uganda, use a satellite map to draw sketch maps of their land, with the help of  the Land and Equity Movement in Uganda (LEMU).
    Sierra Leone

    By Rachael Knight, Senior Advisor, Community Land Protection, Namati

    Latest Events

    26 February 2018 to 28 February 2018


    United Arab Emirates
    Saudi Arabia
    Syrian Arab Republic
    United Arab Emirates

    The Government of the United Arab Emirates in partnership with the World Bank, the Global Land Tool Network, UN-Habitat, the Arab League and the Arab Union of Surveyors is pleased to announce the first Arab Land Conference that will be hosted by the Dubai Land Department and held in Dubai, UAE, between 26-28 /February/2018.

    27 November 2017 to 30 November 2017


    Teresina, Piauí, Brasil, 64000-000

    A Comissão Organizadora da IV Reunião Nordestina de Ciência do Solo já definiu a data do evento, que ocorrerá entre os dias 27 a 30/11/2017 na cidade de Teresina, PI. Segundo o Coordenador do evento, o Dr. Henrique Antunes de Souza, da Embrapa Meio-Norte, nos próximos dias será disponibilizado o site do evento contendo informações sobre programação, preço das inscrições, modelo de resumo, normas de submissão, etc. A seguir são apresentados os membros que compõem a Comissão Organizadora da IV RNCS:



    14 November 2017 to 17 November 2017


    Addis Ababa
    The Africa We Want: Achieving socioeconomic transformation through inclusive and equitable access to land by the youth
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    12 October 2017


    FAO Headquarters - Iraq Room Rome

    Taking stock of progress and mapping future contributions from development actors

    The Land Portal Foundation and the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) are please to invite you to our side event at the Committee on Food Security (CFS) on October 12, 8:30AM - 10:00AM, IRAQ Room,  FAO Headquarters, Rome


    20 June 2017 to 14 July 2017
    Malcolm Childress

    From June 20th to July 14th, 2017, the Land Portal, in collaboration with GLTN/GLII, Land Alliance and LandAC, will co-facilitate a dialogue through which a variety of stakeholders will focus on discussions centered around measuring the perception of land tenure security in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

    5 June 2017 to 16 June 2017
    Godfrey Massay
    Lukasz Czerwinski

    From June 5-16, 2017, Landesa and the Land Portal will co-facilitate a dialogue through which a variety of stakeholders will contribute to discussion on the principles and practices of land-based investments, with a focus on the Tanzanian context. This is intended as part of the broader conversation on responsible investment in land principles, guidelines and practices that has proliferated since, at least, the 2009 food crisis and subsequent ‘land grabs’ that swept the global south

    28 November 2016 to 23 December 2016
    Nicholas Tagliarino
    Marcello Demaria

    Land tenure changes are on the rise throughout the world as a result of increased migration from rural to urban areas, expansion of infrastructure, commercial pressures on agricultural land, extractive activities, and climate change. Shifts in land tenure arrangements are proceeding through compulsory acquisitions (i.e. expropriations) and voluntary market transactions, such large-scale land leases and concessions.



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 2061
    Institutional & promotional materials
    December 2017

    La Plataforma de Beijing, aprobada en la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer (1995), señala el deber de los gobiernos de emprender reformas administrativas y legislativas para dar a la mujer acceso pleno y equitativo a los recursos económicos, incluido el derecho a la herencia y la posesión de tierras, el acceso a créditos, recursos y tecnologías. Adicionalmente, existen varios tratados y leyes internacionales y nacionales que abordan la necesidad de garantizar estos derechos para promover el desarrollo y garantizar la igualdad.

    Reports & Research
    December 2017

    A nivel mundial, ocho hombres poseen la misma riqueza que la mitad más pobre del planeta. En México, cuatro millonarios(as) tienen tanta riqueza como el 50% más pobre de la población.

    Reports & Research
    December 2017

    A nivel mundial, en los últimos años se lograron avances importantes en relación a la igualdad de género en el marco de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio (ODM). Sin embargo, las mujeres y las niñas siguen sufriendo discriminación y violencia en todos los lugares del mundo. Por ello, para alcanzar un mundo sostenible e igualitario es necesario cerrar las brechas de género.

    Institutional & promotional materials
    December 2017
    Costa Rica

    Red de Mujeres Rurales de Costa Rica condena lamentable hecho de violencia perpetrado ayer 9 de enero contra las familias indígenas de Dirió Siêiê (Río Azul) del Territorio Bribri de Salitre. Costa Rica. Comunicado de prensa.

    Reports & Research
    December 2017

    Las colombianas fueron víctimas de la guerra, y han sido una parte crucial del proceso de paz posterior. 'Mujeres al frente', libro y documental, les pone voz y rostro.