Closing a data gap may seem technocratic and boring. But the social and economic empowerment prospects of more than one billion largely poor women who lack secure, legal land and property rights hinges on the success of these efforts.
The ideal of a married woman decorated with sindoor, sakha, and bichiya is romanticized through legend and folklore; steeped in this culture, women themselves see value in these rituals. Millions of women in India do not even imagine that these discriminatory and patriarchal rituals are not supernaturally ordained and blind them to the reality that the revered status given to suhagins causes untold suffering to any woman (widow) who does not fit the ideal.
Access to land is both a critical component and a fundamental barrier to productive youth engagement in agriculture. If properly harnessed, Africa’s nearly 420 million youth—including more than 200 million who reside in rural areas—will be the continent’s greatest asset and its engine to grow agricultural productivity and food security while reducing poverty.
On International Day of Rural Women, Shipra Deo shares stories from her work in rural India about the power of names — how they contribute to a person’s identity, affect the right to vote, and even uphold patriarchy.
COVID-19 and climate change are impacting all of us, but the dual disasters have a disproportionate impact on communities in emerging economies. These impacts are felt most acutely in rural areas, especially among indigenous communities and minority groups, and by women and others who are marginalized within those groups. Land rights were already crucial for food security, identity, and survival; but COVID-19 and climate change make land rights an increasingly vital solution in rural areas.
Legal recognition of land rights is a necessary basis for successful biodiversity conservation and restoration. To be effective, the process must include rural land users, with attention to intersecting vulnerabilities faced by women, youth, and other marginalized groups.
The Supreme Court of India recently ruled that daughters shall enjoy equal rights to inherit family land – an overdue and welcome shift toward greater equality for India’s women. The Court’s decision provided much-needed clarity on the scope of rights provided to daughters through the 2005 Hindu Succession Amendment Act.
The more I listen to women – as they talk about their past experiences, their present needs and their hopes for the future – the more confident I become that a piece of land has the power to break this cycle of oppression and lift women up, empowering them to live a life of dignity, autonomy and self-worth.
To help strengthen land rights for rural women and men and help mitigate risk to businesses, Landesa frequently advises companies on best practices for respecting land rights in their operations and supply chains. Recently, Landesa worked with PepsiCo to create the ACRE Framework, which enables PepsiCo to track its Land Policy globally, across crops and borders.
The Government of India announced an ambitious effort to map residential areas in villages using drone technology and provide “property cards” to these rural owners. Landesa’s Shipra Deo and Pinaki Halder share several recommendations for implementation.