In recent months, supreme courts from India to Nigeria to Zimbabwe have issued historic opinions recognizing and strengthening women’s rights to land and property.
And while this is important and welcome progress, courts alone aren’t going to get us far enough, fast enough on this critical issue. Despite calls from advocacy groups, the necessary data to determine progress on SDG land-related targets (Goals 1, 2, 5 and 15) is not being systematically gathered.
Today, action is needed on several fronts and by multiple stakeholders. We need:
- Data that centers on people and represents all people
- Data that is actionable and accessible
- Data on land documents, but also on how people experience the systems that support land tenure
- Data that acknowledges tracking only household heads or their opinions is insufficient and likely to yield biased results
- See the full list
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.
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