Date: April 12, 2019
Historically, the injustices confronting women with regard to community land rights have been widespread. They are commonly perpetuated by patriarchal community-level practices, customary laws, and formal laws passed by governments, all of which either overlook or directly discriminate against indigenous and rural women’s tenure rights.
While women and men are increasingly challenging and positively transforming patriarchal customs at a local level, research demonstrates that across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), women’s rights to substantively participate in decisions determining the use, management, conservation, allocation, and inheritance of community lands and resources remain inadequately protected under national-level law.
Encouragingly, grassroots groups and a wide range of development organizations are devising successful initiatives to advance the land governance rights of rural women and their communities, generating stories of progress that underscore women’s agency, power, and potential. However, successful support processes remain under-reported and insufficiently analyzed. This report begins to address these gaps by identifying factors that have contributed to the success of local, national, and regional initiatives employed in LMICs to strengthen indigenous and rural women’s governance rights concerning community lands.