The new baseline report on ActionAid's Women's Land Rights Project highlights the need for indigenous women in Guatemala, Dalit women in India, and rural women affected by HIV and AIDS in Sierra Leone to gain actual realisation of their land rights. The report suggests that through the implementation of land-related laws and policies that are progressive; the review or reform of retrogressive ones; and the enactment of missing gender-sensitive laws and/or policies, the tide could be turned on the enjoyment of women’s land rights.
The women’s land rights project is being implemented by ActionAid (AA) in Guatemala, India and Sierra Leone in recognition of the hard fact that struggles for women’s land rights have not yet generated positive results for most women. With the support of the European Commission (EC) between 2010 and 2013, the project is focused on enhancing poor and excluded women’s access to and control over land as a strategy for empowerment and fighting hunger. The “poor and excluded women” identified by the project are: rural indigenous women in Guatemala, Dalit women in India, and rural women affected by HIV and AIDS in Sierra Leone.
[...] The baseline findings call for the following recommendations to improve women’s land rights in the three countries. First, women need to build their capacities to become better advocates by building their knowledge of laws, policies and programmes that can promote or impede the enjoyment of their land rights. Second, women also need to be part of critical decision-making structures that influence land-related reforms or matters. Third, it is essential to tailor capacity and knowledge building for duty-bearers like men, government officials and traditional leaders (who are gatekeepers because they usually determine the extent to which women will enjoy their land rights). All these interventions would provide a good foundation for other relevant interventions that seek to reform laws, policies, programmes, systems and practices—so that the societies in which the poor and marginalised women live become responsive to women’s needs.
For full report please visit the ActionAid webpage.