Sector News – FAO Publishes Technical Guide for Gender-Equitable Land Rights

A United Kingdom initiative supports agricultural endeavors of women in the Terai, Nepal. (Robert Stansfield/UK Department for International Development)
















In January, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched the publication “Governing land for men and women: A technical guide to support the achievement of responsible gender-equitable governance of land tenure” at the Gender and Land Governance Conference in Utrecht. The project, funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, gained many of its recommendations from a May 2011 workshop in which various stakeholders from both the public and private sectors participated. The goal of this guide is to ultimately create an equal playing field for men and women, particularly in developing regions, with regard to land ownership and agricultural productivity.

The principles utilized by the guide are taken from the 1979 Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and are as follows:

Articles 13 to 15: Women to have equal rights with men to conclude contracts and in the administration of property, including equal access to mortgages and equality in procedures before courts and tribunals, with restrictions to the legal capacity of women deemed to be null and void.

Article 14: Women to receive equal treatment in land and agrarian reforms, and in land resettlement schemes and housing.

Article 16: Women to have the same rights in marriage as their spouses with respect to ownership, management, enjoyment and disposal of property, including on divorce.

The guide intends to enable those who work in the land sector to guide and create practices of land ownership governance that reflect these principles. It includes not only recommendations, but also examples of practices that have worked.

The FAO has already addressed the need for women to participate more in agriculture to as a way of strengthening food security in coming years. Gender discrimination is largely responsible for the obstructions to women’s efforts to invest in land and their own economic productivity, as described in the 2012 “State of Food and Agriculture” report. The report further indicates that “[c]losing the gender gap and ensuring equal access by women to resources and assets is indispensable for accelerating agricultural and rural development and poverty alleviation.”

Republished from The original article can be found here.