Closing the gap between law and practice to strengthen women’s land rights globally
Globally, gains have been made to increase legal protections for women to use, manage, own and inherit land. Yet in practice, women often are not able to exercise their rights to the land on which they live, work and depend for survival. In many customary tenure regimes, land is held through the male lineage and women’s access to land and housing is also through male family members. This is frequently the case, even in countries with constitutional and other legal protections, because of age-old customary laws and traditions.
Furthermore, national and local governments and institutions might not have the capacity or technical know-how to enforce equal tenure for men and women – especially in the face of entrenched social and cultural norms that discriminate against women.
Landesa, along with several international partners, will be launching a global advocacy campaign with the primary focus of closing this enormous gap between women’s legal rights and the reality they experience on the ground in their daily lives, ultimately helping millions of women exercise their land rights worldwide over the next decade.
We plan to start in Tanzania, before broadening as Liberia, India, Brazil and Kenya, and eventually expanding to dozens of countries around the world. The campaign will act as an umbrella and a megaphone to synchronise and harmonise global action and messaging around this important issue. Landesa will coordinate and drive this collaborative global effort to build and support country-based coalitions, comprising national and local NGOs, women’s rights groups and grassroots organisations. It is these national and local grassroots groups that will be the real engine of impact and will work to help women exercise their land rights through training, advocacy, working with local leaders and mapping.
What help is needed
- Operational partners – global or country-based civil society groups on the ground working with communities to help close the gap between law and practice
- Pro bono legal support on best practices to strengthen legal implementation policies and practices locally, and pro bono communications or campaigning expertise
- Media partners to help amplify stories about women’s land rights from the ground
- Financial support to roll out the campaign in countries and on the global stage