BLOG: We don’t know how many women own land. Why?

by Cheryl Doss, Yale University
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 16:00 GMT

We know women’s legal rights to own, inherit and farm land are crucial. So why is it still so hard to know how many women have rights? The importance of women’s rights to land and property are increasingly being recognized – both as human rights and as fundamental building blocks for economic development.

However the promotion of women’s access to land is hampered by the fact that there are no systematically collected data on women’s land rights or access to land.

This gap in understanding was highlighted during construction of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which call for indicators of women’s secure land tenure and women’s legal rights to land.

Better data would not only be valuable to clarify the extent of gender inequality in land holdings but also to help lay to rest the widely used but unsubstantiated claim that women own only one or two percent of the world’s land.

Better data can also support the monitoring of programs and policies designed to strengthen women’s rights to property and help to ensure that policies without a gender focus do not, in fact, end up weakening or violating women’s property rights.

So what data is needed and how can we obtain it?

Read the rest of the post on Thomson Reuters Foundation News.

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