May 30, 2013 — Thanks in part to extensive advocacy efforts by Landesa, secure land rights for women and men features prominently in a report by the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The report explicitly recognizes rights to land and property as critical to achieving the goals of eradicating poverty and achieving gender equality.
The High-Level Panel on Post-2015 (HLP) was tasked with making recommendations to the UN Secretary-General on the vision and framework for the post-2015 development agenda – a plan to replace the Millennium Development Goals which end in 2015. Landesa has been working to influence the HLP report, as it is a significant input in the post-2015 process and will serve as a starting point for the intergovernmental negotiations on post-2015 that will occur over the next two years. More specifically, Landesa has advocated for the inclusion of secure land rights for women and men – explicitly calling out women – as a target or indicator in the framework. We engaged in the official UN process and also made key contacts with those involved in the HLP report.
It is a significant milestone that the report explicitly calls out secure land rights for women and men in a prominent way. That the report includes a target on secure rights to land under Goal 1: End Poverty demonstrates the centrality of such rights to any development agenda. That the report also has a related target on ensuring women’s rights to own and inherit property under Goal 2: Empower Girls and Women and Achieve Gender Equality demonstrates the cross-cutting nature of secure land rights. More generally, the HLP includes land rights in several places throughout the report. This represents a significant shift from the current MDGs which fail to focus on secure land rights for women and men.
As the HLP report states, these goals and targets will be debated and discussed, but the journey must start somewhere. We are gratified to see that the HLP recognizes the importance of secure land rights for women and men, and our subsequent post-2015 advocacy work will be aided by this report.