‘Stand For Her Land’ Global Campaign Builds Momentum for Equal Land Rights
UN Photo/Marco Dormino
story highlights

The ‘Stand For Her Land’ campaign will promote key “enablers” of positive change, including improved access to legal services for women and enhanced understanding of land laws within communities and households.

In an example of the potential impact of gender-inclusive land rights, a blog post on the Landesa portal describes newly-adopted legislation to amend China’s 2002 Rural Land Contracting Law that could help strengthen the land rights of 240 million Chinese farm households.

25 March 2019: A global campaign aimed at consolidating grassroots and national-level efforts to strengthen women’s access to land was launched on the eve of the 2019 World Bank Land and Poverty Conference. ‘Stand For Her Land’ aims to redress “persistent barriers” to realizing women’s land rights, despite the enactment of laws and policies that enshrine those rights “in more than half the countries in the world.”

The ‘Stand For Her Land’ launch event took place in Washington, DC, US, on 25 March 2019, and was co-hosted by the campaign’s founding partners: Habitat for Humanity; the Huairou Commission; Landesa; Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) Partners; and the World Bank.

The campaign focuses on driving increased implementation of existing legal frameworks as a crucial first step towards achieving diverse national, regional and global objectives, including several targets under the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) aimed at securing women’s access to, and ownership of, land and other assets.

Discriminatory social norms and practices, poor enforcement capacity and a lack of political will are among the barriers to achieving women’s land and property rights.

The campaign builds on the recognition that persistent discriminatory social norms and practices – coupled with poor enforcement capacity and a lack of political will – are among the strongest barriers to achieving women’s land and property rights in both rural and urban areas. The campaign will promote key “enablers” of positive change, including improved access to legal services for women and enhanced understanding of land laws within communities and households.

The launch event highlighted the close link between improving women’s land and property rights and core development objectives, including poverty reduction (SDG 1) and economic growth (SDG 8). Conversely, the close relationship between insecure land rights and diverse social and economic obstacles faced by women was noted. These obstacles include women’s inability to fully engage in farming and other agricultural activities, establish home-based enterprises, and access safe and decent housing.

In an example of the potential impact of gender-inclusive land rights, a blog post on the Landesa portal describes newly-adopted legislation to amend China’s 2002 Rural Land Contracting Law (RLCL) that could help strengthen the land rights of 240 million Chinese farm households. Describing it as “the most significant land policy reform in China since the adoption of the RLCL,” the article outlines how the amended legal framework “strengthens and reaffirms the rights of rural households to use, manage, and leverage their land” in four important ways: registering women’s names on land certificates for the first time; clarifying that both male and female household members enjoy equal rights to the household’s land; repealing the RLCL provision that required farmers to forfeit their land rights if all members of the household moved to an urban setting; and reaffirming existing legal restrictions of land readjustment – the practice of redistributing land allocations among households as village demographics change – which has historically contributed to land tenure insecurity among Chinese farm households. [World Bank Press Release] [Stand For Her Land Website][Landesa Blog on New Chinese Land Laws] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Launch of Landesa Campaign on Women’s Land Rights] [Land and Poverty Conference 2019 Website]


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