Category Archives: women’s land rights

Highlighting land tenure security in drafting the New Urban Agenda for Habitat III

Panel during the side event on Land and Housing at the Core of the New Habitat Agenda. Photo by Habitat International Coalition.

Panel during the side event on Land and Housing at the Core of the New Habitat Agenda. Photo by Habitat International Coalition.

During the third and Preparatory Committee session for the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development or Habitat III in Surabaya, Indonesia on 27 July 2016, the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) in collaboration with UN-Habitat, Huairou Commission, Habitat for Humanity International, Landesa, Habitat International Coalition (HIC), and the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) hosted a side event on Land and Housing at the Core of the New Habitat Agenda: Recommendations and Key Messages.

The side event aimed to analyze the centrality of ensuring tenure security and rights to adequate and affordable land and housing for the success of the New Habitat Agenda, and describe good practices, tools and links to policy instruments that promote secure tenure for all and responsible land governance.

Recognizing that land is a key driver to urban and rural development, speakers have highlighted the importance of securing land tenure rights for all to enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change, mediating competing interests, while ensuring transparency and accountability. Discussed as well are the importance of land use planning in ensuring sustainable and safe cities and human settlements; and women’s access, ownership, inheritance, and control over land in transforming their wellbeing, economic and social status, resilience to disaster and climate threats, and for the development of the community and society.

ANGOC Executive Director Nathaniel Don Marquez has presented the works of the Land Watch Asia (LWA) Campaign during the session on “Sustainable Land use and responsible land governance.”

Discussions in this side event will be an input to the drafting the New Urban Agenda which will be announced during the Habitat III Conference on 17-20 October in Quito, Ecuador.

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Training course on women’s land rights

We are posting this news shared by the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD).

Group exercises of the participants on the rights of the women in property according to inheritance law. Photo: ALRD

Group exercises of the participants on the rights of the women in property according to inheritance law. Photo: ALRD

On 21-26 November 2015, ALRD organized a training course on Women Land Rights and Access to Khas Land under the National Engagement Strategy (NES) supported by the International Land Coalition (ILC) in Dhaka. Twenty two representatives from 12 different partner organizations participated in the training.

The training course was to educate partner organizations and their beneficiaries on women’s right to land and other resources. Participants committed to disseminate the lessons learned to the beneficiaries and stakeholders in their respective working areas. They will also undertake advocacy creating pressure on the government and policy makers for proper implementation of international instruments and conventions ratified by the State regarding women rights including the safeguards stated in the Bangladesh Constitution.

ALRD celebrates International Rural Women’s Day

Panel of the seminar on "Land Rights, Food Sovereignty and Rural Women." Photo by ALRD

Panel of the seminar on “Land Rights, Food Sovereignty and Rural Women.” Photo by ALRD

In celebration of the International Rural Women’s Day, the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), Nijera Kori, and Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA)  organized a seminar on Land rights, food sovereignty and rural women in Dhaka on 11 October 2015.

The seminar brought 120 academicians, rights activists, women leaders, rural women and farmers together to acknowledge the significant role of women in agriculture despite being deprived of land rights.

BELA Chief Executive Syeda Rizwana Hassan, in her keynote speech, stated that women contribute 61% to the agricultural sector of GDP in Bangladesh; however, only 18% of women own land. Moreover, from an FAO report, 500 million of the 836 million people suffering from malnutrition are women – one attribution to this is women’s deprivation of land ownership.

Women leaders also shared their struggles against land grabbers which include lower wages and issues on joint land ownership. On the other hand, success story featured the importance of women cooperatives in practicing organic farming.

ALRD Executive Director Shamsul Huda demanded low interest loan for rural women farmers while Nijera Kori Chair Khusi Kabir stressed the need to break the wage discrimination between men and women farmers.

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2Additionally, marking the day of rural women, ALRD, Nijeri Kori, and BELA released a poster themed, Raise Voiced Women’s Rights and Access to Land and Natural Resources, to extend their solidarity on global campaign on “No Land, No Life: 16 days of global action on rural women.”

The poster highlighted their demands on women’s land rights including food sovereignty, women’s rights as human rights, agricultural lands protection, solidarity among IPs, fighting against land grabbing, ensuring women’s access to khas lands and beels, and support to women’s cooperatives.

Ekta Parishad – Mahila Manch conducts a conference on women’s land rights

We are sharing this news from Ekta Parishad posted on 19 February.

Participants of the conference on "Land Rights and Women’s Perspectives." Photo by Ekta Parishad, retrieved from http://ektaparishad.com/Portals/0//EasyDNNNews/161/600600p709EDNmain161IMG_6015.JPG

Participants of the conference on “Land Rights and Women’s Perspectives.” Photo by Ekta Parishad, retrieved from http://ektaparishad.com/Portals/0//EasyDNNNews/161/600600p709EDNmain161IMG_6015.JPG

Ekta ParishadMahila Manch organized a conference on Land Rights and Women’s Perspectives in Palwal, India on 18-19 February.

More than 200 women from different states participated in the event to discuss the new Land Acquisition Ordinance which was said to be lacking of provisions on the basic rights on land as against to what the Land Acquisition Law 2014 states.

Other topics on women include the Homestead Land Bill, Land Reform Policy, and Implementation of Forest Rights Law.

Bangladesh: Seminar on women empowerment

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.

Participatory discussions among partipants

Participatory discussions among partipants

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.

Women’s inheritance rights in the context of Muslim populations

Participants at workshop on women's inheritance rights

Participants of the workshop on women’s inheritance rights held in Dhaka, Bangladesh last August 2014.

Women play important roles in food security and in the sustainable management of resources. Unfortunately, in most countries in Asia, women are deprived of land ownership rights, especially in inheritance. Our partners from four countries (Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and Pakistan) studied women’s inheritance rights in the content of Muslim populations, as part of the Women’s Land Rights Program of the International Land Coalition (ILC). ILC and the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD) jointly organized a workshop last 13-15 August in Dhaka, Bangladesh to share the preliminary findings of the studies to ILC members and partners in the region.

The findings: the administrative practices and biases curtail women’s equal property rights. While property laws in most Asian countries provide for equal land rights between women and men, women rarely have their names on land titles, certificates, leases and contracts. In most countries, men are considered as the head of the family, either implicitly or through designation, and this status consequently gives them authority over decisions on property and land.

Experts on women's inheritance rights share the findings of their research.

Experts on women’s inheritance rights share the findings of their research.

In moving forward for possible collaboration with ANGOC and the Land Watch Asia campaign, we are looking at the following areas:

  • Women’s Empowerment (organize women’s groups, promote leadership development, conduct policy analysis, provide legal education)
  • Research and Dissemination (impact of climate change, land grab, good practices on advancing women’s land ownership)
  • CSO Land Reform Monitoring (focusing on indicators on policies promoting women’s ownership of land, budget for women’s programs, number of women effectively owning land, and number of hectares of land owned)
  • Joint campaign and advocacy (addressing data gaps, lobby for land and agrarian reforms with emphasis on joint ownership, equal inheritance rights, provision of support services; conduct dialogue with various stakeholders, including religious leaders).

For more information on women’s land rights, you may wish to read the proceedings from our Regional Workshop on Women and Land Rights, held in Dhaka in October 2010.