Gender and access to land | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2002
ISBN / Resource ID: 
Land Tenure Series

This study stresses the importance of land for the rural poor as a source of livelihood and describes the gendered and often inequitable experience of access to land and other natural resources. It also provides a set of guidelines for actions to increase women's access to land, including awareness raising, and emphasises the need for better contextual udnerstanding of the gendered aspects in land allocation and adjudication. The report also provides suggestions for indicators of secure land access prior to, during and after programs of intervention.

A summary from FAO follows: "Women, the elderly, minorities and other sometimes marginalized groups can be at risk in land reform and land administration projects. Very often, when land values increase as a result of external investments, women become marginalized in the process, and risk losing former benefits and accommodating situations. Women can be at risk even if it is intended that they share the benefits. For example, improving irrigation on women's fields may have the unintended effect that these newly valuable fields are reclaimed by men in the community. Enhancing housing in a community or peri-urban area may have similar unintended results when the units become more marketable. Children and the elderly may also suffer although the original intention was to provide inclusion.

The purpose of these guidelines is thus:

  • to provide background information to land administrators and other land professionals on why gender issues matter in land projects; and
  • to provide guidelines to assist development specialists and land administration agencies in ensuring that land administration enhances and protects the rights of all stakeholders."

You can download this publication from FAO website. It is available in English, French and Spanish.

Geographical focus

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