Frequently Asked Questions

Who Are We?

The Women’s Land Rights Visiting Professionals Program is managed by Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights.

The Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights is an initiative of Landesa, a global land rights organization that has partnered with more than 50 countries to help strengthen land rights for more than 120 million families.

The Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights works with governments and civil society to champion and advise on standards, policies, and tactics for strengthening women’s land rights; create tools and pursue innovative solutions; and nurture a global network of professionals and organizations collaborating to improve the conditions and status of women and girls by strengthening their access and control over land and resources.

Why Do We Focus on Women’s Land Rights?

Most of the poorest people on the planet share three traits: they live in rural areas, rely on agricultural labor to survive, and don’t own the land they till. Landlessness remains one of the most accurate predictors of extreme poverty around the world.

Although women play a key role in agricultural work and food production, their land rights are most tenuous. Women may lose access to or control over land when they marry, divorce, or become widowed, or when their husbands take another wife. They may lack inheritance rights. Or they may have only limited say in how the family land is used or how the income it generates is allocated. Women may not know their rights, or they may lack the means or access to enforce the rights they do have. In many situations, laws, policies, and interventions fail to account for these gendered realities. Research has shown that when women have secure rights to land, their status improves, and they are better able to take care of themselves, their families, and their land. Strengthening women’s land rights and productive assets has been linked to women’s increased participation on household decision making, which has a powerful ripple effect, including better nutrition and food security for families, an improvement in family health, educational gains for children, and improved access to microcredit and formal loans.

What Is the Women’s Land Rights Visiting Professionals Program?

The Women’s Land Rights Visiting Professionals Program seeks to cultivate a network of qualified professionals from around the world who are strongly committed to securing women’s land rights at local, national, and international levels. Our program goals are to enhance and learn from participants’ expertise, to support their commitment to securing women’s land rights, and to foster participation in a global women’s land rights network.

This is a competitive program that begins with a five-week period of intense training, mentoring, and experience sharing with land tenure experts at Landesa’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Participants will have the opportunity to deepen their expertise, gain and impart comparative knowledge around legal and policy reform and implementation; expand the set of approaches to designing, executing, and evaluating women’s land rights interventions; and improve their impact by honing leadership, management, and communication skills.

Program participants work closely with one another and with Landesa staff to develop their skills, expertise, and commitment to support one another by:

  • Participating in and contributing to substantive and comparative discussions
  • Sharing knowledge and expertise through presentations and informal conversations
  • Providing and receiving constructive feedback
  • Fostering group cohesion built on trust and openness to facilitate the growth of a global network of women’s land rights professionals

What Expenses Are Covered?

The program covers the cost of tuition, obtaining a US visa, roundtrip flights, airport transfers in the US, lodging, and public transportation and provides a modest stipend for food and other living expenses.

Who Is Eligible to Apply? 

  • All applicants must be currently based and working in India, China, Myanmar, Liberia, or Tanzania due to current funding guidelines.
  • Professionals currently working in-country for national or international organizations, NGOs, academic institutions, government agencies, etc.
  • Practitioners, policy advocates, community organizers, educators, and other development professionals strongly committed to strengthening women’s land rights
  • Professionals with at least five years’ development experience, with two of those years focused on issues related to land tenure or women’s rights
  • Professionals with advanced English proficiency skills (speaking, reading, and writing)

How Should You Apply? 

Please note that applications are now closed.

Finalists will be notified for interviews and announced in September 2017.

The program will be held in Seattle from April 1 through May 5, 2018.