Category Archives: Women and Gender
After years of Ekta Parishad’s campaigning and conducting mass mobilizations for land rights, the National Rural Homestead Bill was drafted in 2013 to ensure that rural families have the right to a home and a piece of land not less than 10 cents (0.04 hectares). Despite repeated promises from the government to prioritize its passage, the Bill has never been presented in the parliament.
On 14-15 March 2016, Ekta Parishad once again gathered more than 5,000 India’s landless people in Jantar Mantar, New Delhi to demand for their homestead land rights.
From these series of activities, Ekta Parishad asserted that movements for land rights need new form – improving the culture of protest to ensure that demands of people are heard; and the culture of governance to guarantee government’s actions from their promises.
We are posting this update shared by the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD).
ALRD conducted a training on “Gender Equality and Women’s Access to Land” on 16-21 January 2016 in Dhaka with 25 participants from 13 different partner organizations (11 were women). The five-day-training course was to raise awareness to the partner organizations and their beneficiaries on equal rights of women on land and other natural resources, and on elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women.
Ensuring women’s equal rights to land are hindered by gender-blind development policies of the government resulting to land-related violence among women. This training helped the participants to identify the loopholes of the existing legal instruments and practices of multi-dimensional discriminations and violence against women in the society. Although the Constitution of Bangladesh recognizes equal rights for women, several laws-policies and socio-cultural context of the country ignores women’s equal rights in all aspects of life. Through the discussions in the training, participants realized the need to further develop existing laws as well as social patriarchal mind-set to prevent discriminatory practices against women.
Participants committed to disseminate the lessons learned to the beneficiaries and stakeholders in their respective working areas. They will also undertake mobilization activities for creating movements in the local level.
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With limited land, access to it has been a prevailing issue which leads to human rights violations to farmers, and to the disadvantaged women and indigenous peoples.
These Land Watch Asia (LWA)’s Lok Niti journals compile scoping studies from seven Asian countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Philippines) telling of how women and indigenous peoples struggle to claim their land rights:
The Lok Niti on “Women stake their claim to land” outlines the statuses of women’s land rights in each country, the legal frameworks covering such rights, the key factors promoting or impending women’s land rights, and the strategies to address gender inequality and advance women’s rights to own and benefit from the land. Its issue brief, “Women’s land rights in Asia,” may also be downloaded here.
The Lok Niti on “Indigenous peoples and their sacred lands,”on the other hand,reveals how the basic bond of indigenous peoples to land are threatened by forces far more powerful than they are equipped to face. The IP issue brief, “On the customary rights of indigenous peoples in Asia,” is also available here.
LWA also started the Land Reform Monitoring Initiaive in 2010 strengthening evidence-based advocacies of CSOs on access to land and security of land tenure. The “2014 CSO Land Reform Monitoring Report: Towards an Accountable Governance on Land in Asia” features the 2014 CSO land reform monitoring reports on the status of land tenure and access to land of the seven countries. It also reflects the recent expansion of the monitoring initiative to a ridge-to-reef framework providing a more holistic approach in addressing ancestral lands, rural lands, and marine resource concerns.
A proceedings on “A Regional Workshop on Land Monitoring Initiatives”was also prepared to highlight LWA’s “Regional Workshop on Land Monitoring Initiatives: Towards an Accountable Governance on Land” held in Manila, Philippines on 21-22 April 2015 – which includes the country land monitoring reports; the country updates in Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam; and the new land reform monitoring framework modified for the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Seminar on Collective Cultivation, Role of Women in Sustainable Agriculture and Right to Land held in Mymensingh, Bangladesh
Post shared by the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD).
ALRD, in collaboration with Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) and Bangladesh Agricultural University and partner Gram Unnoyon Songstha [Village Development Organization] (GRAUS) organized the seminar on Collective Cultivation, Role of Women in Sustainable Agriculture and Right to Land on 23 June in Mymensingh District in Bangladesh where papers on women were presented:
- “Women in joint cultivation and sustainable development of agriculture” by Dr. Nazim Uddin, Senior Scientific Officer, BARI
- “Women’s Right to Land” by Sanjida Khan Ripa, Asst. Programme Coordinator, ALRD
- “Procedure of organic farming, possibility and reality” by Dr. Ashraful Islam, Associate Professor, Horticulture, Bangladesh Agricultural University
More than 100 representatives from different organizations, NGOs, journalists, lawyers and male and female farmers participated in the seminar.
We are sharing this news from the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD) posted this May 2015.
Thirty three women journalists from different electronic and print media participated in a workshop organized by ALRD and Bangladesh Nari Sangbadik Kendra (BNSK) entitled, Women’s Rights to Land and the Role of Media. Held last 27-29 March at the NGO Forum for Public Health, Dhaka, Bangladesh, the event conducted sessions on:
- Women’s Right to Land in the Contemporary Reality: Importance of Mass Awareness
- Land Survey and Deprivation of Women; Technical Terms; Hereditary Laws
- Women’s Land Ownership
- Women’s Contribution to Agriculture
- Discrimination Against Women and the Role of Media
- Women’s Right to Land in Light of the Vested Property Return Act
- Government Owned Khas Land and Water Bodies tenure policy: How Much Women Friendly
- Applying Right to Information Act in Realizing Women’s Right to Land
- Women’s Right to Land: Collaboration Between Development Organizations and Mass Media
- Women’s Right to Land: the Role of Journalists, Professional Competency and Priority
Participants expressed their commitment and collaboration with ALRD in ensuring women’s right to land.
We are sharing this article contributed by the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD).
“Women in Bangladesh are struggling for a long time to ensure their equal rights and opportunities in family, society and state as a whole. Even in the twenty first century, still they are the victims of social, political and economic discrimination due to the patriarchal mindset”, said Advocate Manik Majumder, Judge Court, Faridpur in a seminar.
This seminar, “Women empowerment: Land Rights and Access to Natural Resources” was arranged by ALRD and Beneficiaries Friendship Forum (BFF) on 10 November in Faridpur
Discussants of the seminar said that women are deprived of having access or ownership to land and natural resources. Though 70% of women in our country directly or indirectly involve with agricultural works, they do not have the recognition as farmer. Article 29 of the constitution recognizes equal rights for women in all sphere of life; however, equal rights are not ensured for women till now.
Property rights are still governed by religious laws which lack equal rights for women. However, whatever the laws and policies are, the process of acquiring property is a challenge. Most of the time, women are deprived of acquiring ancestral property as well as government allocated khas land.
In this circumstance state has to take essential steps to ensure women access to land and natural resources. They also demand Khas Land Act instead of Policy so that poor and marginalize women’s access to land can be ensured which would be the arm to empower women.
We are sharing this update contributed by the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD).
Deprivation of women’s right to land depicts the deprivation of fundamental rights. Mass awareness is crucial for ending the scenario of discrimination to women in the society at large. As the adage goes, an image is worth a thousand words; and it’s all the more if the image tells the untold stories of oppression. ALRD, International Land Coalition (ILC), in association with the mass communication and journalism-related newspaper ‘Maddham’ (Medium) organized a three-day photo exhibit, “Land and Women” by Kakoli Pradhan (a photo journalist of a Bengali Daily Newspaper name The Daily Kaler Kantho) from 12-14 November. The event was to raise awareness on discriminations and sufferings of women who are deprived of rights to land and property.
The photo exhibit was held at the University of Dhaka. Forty-five images in large frames tell the stories of all the women who have faced severe discrimination in terms of land and other rights in society.
Socio-political context, corruption in land governance system, land grabbing, commercialization of land, different gender-blind development policies by the government, impact of globalization and violence against women related to land gradually constrained threat and further shrunken scope and space for ensuring women’s equal right to land and family property. As a result they become victim of eviction and land related violence. This arrangement exposes women injustices from the different parts of the country through the lens of camera.
Women’s access to productive land enhances well-being, production potential, and empowerment. Access is often and most likely de-barred due to laws, social customs and prejudice.
ALRD organized the training course titled “Land and Women at ALRD’s Hall Room, Lalmatia, Dhaka on 22 -25 June, 2014. A total of 25 female participants from 17 organizations (Including 2 IP headed organizations) in 12 districts attended in the training course. The organizations include ALRD’s network members, and members-partners of National Land Coalition and ILC.
In the inaugural session, Shamsul Huda, Executive Director of ALRD, recalled the advocacy role of ALRD and its likeminded partners’ organizations in land, agriculture, water, women rights and minority rights. Referring to women empowerment, he praised women’s active role at all walks of life from household activities to highest policy making bodies of the government. Among others, Ms. Jahura Khatun, Deputy Director of NGO Affairs Bureau of Bangladesh government and Sanjida Khatun of Karmojibi Nari (NGO) discussed various issues regarding laws, policies on land registration and Mutation, leadership and women leader movement.
Course content includes: Land Law and Ordinance; Land and Agrarian Reform of women in development; Land Registration and Mutation; Khas land and Jolmohal (Larger water bodies) Distribution Policy; Vested Property Act 2011; Women Rights in Inheritance Law; Women Leadership and Women Leader Movement; Women Cooperative; Need of Family Farming and Women Peasant; and Right To Information Act (RTI) 2009.
 They are CDA of Dinajpur district ; MKS,Diganta and Chirosobuj Bangladesh of Satkhira; NSKS and NIDA of Natore; Manush and Sommilito Nari Unnayan Sangstha of Madaripur; ASIA of Panchagar; BFF of Faridpur; APUS of Jamalpur; Three Star Organization and LRC of Gopalgang; SMS of Gaibandha; REDF of Rangpur; SBMSS of Rajshahi; and JAUP of Tangail
The Second National Conference of Farmer Women was held from 3-5 March, 2013 at Thimura, Chitwan with the participation of 162 women from 48 districts of Nepal. The conference was organized with focused discussion on ‘Women’s Land Ownership and Identity.
The conference well speculated the women’s issues by announcing the action point. The conference was successful in raising the voice of land poor and women farmer in the domain of ensuring equal land rights. The program was jointly organized by National Land Rights Forum (NLRF) and Community Self-reliance Center (CSRC).
· Increased confidence and commitment, to claim for the land rights and in other natural resource as well.
· Enhanced the debate on women and land rights and also prepared action plan for the substantial expansion of campaign.
· Provided encouragement to prepare Joint Land Ownership Certificate.
· Increased understanding on legal aspect of women’s issues and build capacity of Rural Women Farmer Leaders.
· Enhanced the importance and procedures involved in making joint land ownership certificate.
· Provided a strong basis to take forward the movement linking it with human rights.
· Helped to entrench the culture of movement, deepen the agenda of movement and enhance the leadership of frontline leaders.
· Provided the platform for landless women farmer to express their feelings, build power and exchange knowledge and learning.
(Read more Campaign Update – VOLUME 33)
Friday, December 11, 2009
By Urooj Zia
Karachi, Pakistan — As many as 4,196 people have been allotted land to date under the Sindh government’s land distribution programme for female peasants, said Faisal Ahmed Okeli, the programme coordinator for the Sindh government’s Landless Haaris Programme. He was speaking on Thursday at the launch of a study report on the issues and challenges of the land development programme. The report has been prepared by the Participatory Development Initiative (PDI), in coordination with Oxfam-GB.
About 70 per cent of the 4,196 peasants who have been allotted land are women. Thirty-five per cent of the allottees are “problematic Haaris,” according to Okeli. “This means that there are issues with their allotments, which we are currently trying to work through. Support packages, including seeds, fertilisers, some funds, etc, were delivered to the remaining 65 per cent. Many of them have already harvested the crop on this land, and have sold their first produce in the market.”
According to PDI representatives, however, many of the 4,196 allotments are “problematic”. “For instance, the land allotted to one woman turned out to be a portion of the sea,” said PDI Director Sikander Brohi. “She asked us what crops the government wants her to sow under the sea. In many other cases, all of the allotted land, or at least a portion of it, turned out to be a graveyard. In Nawabshah, for instance, we came across one woman who had been allotted 16 acres; four to five acres of this was a graveyard.” Read the rest of this entry