Strengthening Women’s Property
              Women s
            Rights:
    The Key to Food Security
    United Nations’ ...
Overview

• Complexity of rights to
       p     y     g
  land and water
• IFPRI research
  findings on the
  importance ...
Complexity of rights to land and water

• Separate bundles of rights for different users and
  different resources
• Robus...
In most societies, women’s property rights
            are weaker than men’s
                            men s
• Although ...
Importance of women’s rights to property
               and other assets
 Demonstrated
 Increases in:
 • Agricultural
   P...
Agricultural Productivity

Equalizing agricultural inputs between men and
women increases agricultural productivity
      ...
Household Welfare

Distribution of assets within the household matters
• In Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Sumatra
  and South Afri...
Women’s Decision-Making Power

Gender equity in access is a valuable outcome in its
own right
• In Bangladesh, assets targ...
Project Sustainability

Attention to gender improves project sustainability
 • A review of 271
   World Bank projects
   b...
Yet, there have been relatively few interventions
     designed to improve gender equity in land
• Assumption that the hou...
Ways of Strengthening Women’s Property
                   Rights
• Legal Reform of inheritance laws or provision for joint...
Recommendations

Reform and monitor legal institutions to attain
gender equity in property rights
• Legal reforms are nece...
Recommendations (cont.)

Develop technologies to increase the returns
 to women’s labor in the agricultural sector
    wom...
Final Note:
                        From Research to Action
 Women’s property rights are complex, dynamic
  and vary accor...
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Strengthening Womens Property Rights: The Key to Food Security

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Strengthening Womens Property Rights: The Key to Food Security

  1. 1. Strengthening Women’s Property Women s Rights: The Key to Food Security United Nations’ Forty-Ninth Session of the Nations Forty Ninth Commission on the Status of Women March 10, 2005 Presented by Lauren Pandolfelli, IFPRI Thursday, July 30, 2009
  2. 2. Overview • Complexity of rights to p y g land and water • IFPRI research findings on the importance of women’s property rights and t i ht d assets • Points of intervention • Recommendations INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 2
  3. 3. Complexity of rights to land and water • Separate bundles of rights for different users and different resources • Robustness of rights to withstand challenges • M lti l sources of claims f property rights, Multiple f l i for t i ht including statutory, customary and religious laws • Importance of “interstitial spaces” for women’s interstitial spaces women s production • Dynamism of rights due to population pressure, pressure legal pluralism, and cultural change INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 3
  4. 4. In most societies, women’s property rights are weaker than men’s men s • Although usufruct rights may be guaranteed in some societies, women usually obtain access through men (fathers, brothers, husbands) • Indirect access to land plus land, pro-male bias in titling and land reform programs, leads to disadvantaged p g position in acquiring secure rights in a privatized system INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 4
  5. 5. Importance of women’s rights to property and other assets Demonstrated Increases in: • Agricultural Productivity • Household Welfare • Women’s Decision-Making • Project Sustainability INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 5
  6. 6. Agricultural Productivity Equalizing agricultural inputs between men and women increases agricultural productivity productivity. • In Kenya, equalizing levels of education, experience, y q g p and farm inputs between men and women increases women’s yields for maize, beans, and cowpeas by 22 %. • In Bangladesh, new vegetable technologies disseminated by NGOs and targeted to women are more profitable than traditional agriculture (controlled by men) INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 6
  7. 7. Household Welfare Distribution of assets within the household matters • In Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Sumatra and South Africa, assets in the hands of women leads to greater expenditures on child schooling • I Bangladesh, a hi h proportion In B l d h higher ti of pre-wedding assets held by the mother decreases the morbidity of girls il INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 7
  8. 8. Women’s Decision-Making Power Gender equity in access is a valuable outcome in its own right • In Bangladesh, assets targeted to women leads to greater mobility for women, increased political awareness, and fewer incidents of domestic violence fd ti i l • In Mexico, wife’s education and work experience is associated with her making decisions by herself INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 8
  9. 9. Project Sustainability Attention to gender improves project sustainability • A review of 271 World Bank projects by IFPRI shows that when projects address gender, their g , sustainability increases by 16 % INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 9
  10. 10. Yet, there have been relatively few interventions designed to improve gender equity in land • Assumption that the household functions as one unit and men and women pool their resources • Few empirical studies documenting consequences of unequal access t l d on rural li lih d on an l to land l livelihoods individual basis • Cultural and political resistance to giving women land rights on their own • Limited information about the distribution of property rights between men and women, on cross-national basis INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 10
  11. 11. Ways of Strengthening Women’s Property Rights • Legal Reform of inheritance laws or provision for joint titling of land • Community Programs have the potential to change g gendered p power relations • Collective Action Programs enable women to acquire management, and often exclusion, rights over resources g , , g • Technology Interventions directed to meet women’s needs, increase the value of women’s labour • Credit, Information, and Inputs enable more productive use of land INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 11
  12. 12. Recommendations Reform and monitor legal institutions to attain gender equity in property rights • Legal reforms are necessary to strengthen women’s entitlements and to make their claims over natural and physical assets more enforceable. • Legal reforms must be accompanied by legal-literacy legal literacy campaigns so that both men and women are aware of such changes • Women need access to administrative and judicial channels INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 12
  13. 13. Recommendations (cont.) Develop technologies to increase the returns to women’s labor in the agricultural sector women s sector. • Technologies that increase returns to women’s labor may women s increase bargaining power and rights to land • In Ghana, cocoa farms increased demand for women’s labor so much that husbands gave “gifts” of land in return for labor INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 13
  14. 14. Final Note: From Research to Action Women’s property rights are complex, dynamic and vary according t i t d di to intersecting id titi ti identities •Identify key gender/tenure interactions for each site y yg •Use cost-effective diagnostic tools to ensure stakeholder participation •Assess the multiple entry points through which women’s rights over resources can be strengthened o er reso rces INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE Page 14

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