Landesa Center For Women’s Land Rights

Securing land rights for the world's poorest people

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Why women’s land rights?

Women in many of the poorest regions of the world are denied equal rights to access, use, inherit, and control land, though they make up an estimated 43 percent of the agricultural labor force (FAO).

The challenges are two-fold.

Laws and policies often dilute or deny women’s rights to land.

And even when laws enshrine such rights, legal loopholes, gaps in implementation, lax enforcement, and at times sex-discriminatory practices undercut these formal guarantees.

As a result, often women’s only claim to the land they rely on for food, income, and shelter is through their relationship to a male relative – husband, father, or brother. This lack of security leaves them susceptible to displacement and exploitation. It hampers women’s ability to lift themselves and their families out of extreme poverty and impacts the way they farm in fundamental ways.

When women have secure rights to land, women’s status improves and they are better able to take care of themselves, their families and their land. Research links strengthening women’s land rights and productive assets to women’s increased participation on household decision making and a powerful continued ripple effect:

  • Better nutrition and food security for families
  • Family health improves
  • Educational gains for children
  • Improved access to micro-credit and formal loans
  • Decreased vulnerability to contracting HIV/AIDS
  • Potential to reduce domestic violence

Given the centrality of women’s land rights to a host of development and human rights outcomes, the Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights works to prioritize and integrate them in all of Landesa’s projects and initiatives.


Champion and advise on standards, policies, and tactics for strengthening women’s land rights. Nurture a global network of professions and organizations collaborating to strengthen women’s rights to land. Pilot innovative solutions to secure women’s land rights.

Our Progress:

Landesa has partnered with national, regional and global actors to reform laws and institutions to strengthen women’s land rights. Landesa has piloted a number of innovative pilot programs to strengthen women’s rights to land. Landesa has established a visiting professionals program that supports and grows an international cadre of women’s land rights experts. Landesa continues to champion the issue of women’s rights to land in such fora as the United Nations, the Clinton Global Initiative, the G-8, and the Borlaug Dialogue

Selected Current Initiatives

For more information about the Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights initiatives please visit:

Watch videos about women’s land rights from the field