Closing the land rights gender gap post-COVID; Welcoming Dr. Margaret Rugadya; Meet Dr. S B Lokesh.
This newsletter was sent on July 15, 2021
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The Road to Resilience in a Post-COVID World: Stronger Land Rights for Women

By Shipra Deo and My-Lan Dodd

An aerial view of five women walking through tall grass.

INDIA — The impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls is disproportionate and devastating. The familiar patterns of gender inequality embedded in the world’s political, social and economic systems have only become more pronounced during this crisis.

As the global community strives for a more gender-equal world, closing the gender gap in land ownership holds great promise. Secure and clear rights to land create pathways to empowerment and economic opportunity, and often have the ability to shift long-standing social and power dynamics.

Around the world, women own less land than men. The UN estimates that less than 20 percent of world’s landholders are women, and reports by the World Bank show that in 40 percent of the world’s economies, women face legal barriers to their land and property rights.

This gap is high in South Asia, where land is usually a private asset owned and acquired mainly through inheritance and passed along by males in patrilineal families.


Indigenous Peoples & Rural Communities: Critical change agents in climate action

By Rachel McMonagle, Climate Change and Land Tenure Specialist

Farmers in Burundi working on a paddy in the distance.

SKOLL FOUNDATION — Around the world, Indigenous and rural communities are among those least responsible for climate change, yet they are often the first to suffer from its impacts. Communities in rural areas are severely impacted by sudden and slow-onset effects of climate change, such as land and soil degradation and more frequent and intense floods. Effective solutions to confronting climate injustice, therefore, necessarily require engagement and partnership with Indigenous and rural populations, who are critical change agents in this global fight.

Indigenous peoples have a vast depth of ecological knowledge, which they have honed and passed down over generations, making them invaluable leaders in constructing climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and solutions. Furthermore, many Indigenous and rural communities reside on carbon-rich lands and forests that are vital for the health of our planet. Indigenous practices often serve a protective role over those lands.



Landesa welcomes Dr. Margaret Rugadya

Dr. Margaret Rugadya headshot with blue background

UGANDA — We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Margaret Rugadya as our new Africa Region Director.

Based in Uganda, Dr. Rugadya is well known as a leader in development work both regionally and worldwide, especially at the intersection of land and resource tenure and gender equity efforts. She has been recognized for her involvement in law and policy reforms, numerous peer-reviewed research papers, effective advocacy and strong organization of ground-up advocacy efforts, and mentorship of emerging land rights champions.

Dr. Rugadya will oversee Landesa's efforts to strengthen land rights across the Continent and will be a key contributor to Landesa's global portfolio.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Rugadya to the Landesa team!


Staff Spotlight: Dr. S B Lokesh

S B Lokesh at work

Dr. S B Lokesh is Landesa's Karnataka State Director based in Bangalore, India. Twenty years ago, Lokesh began working for Landesa as a Research Associate after graduating from the University of Agricultural Sciences. "From that day forward I’ve felt that I am not only an employee of Landesa but also a huge fan of Landesa and its work. The areas where we work, the issues that we address, and the approach that we follow have inspired me a lot in my work and to stick with Landesa for two decades."

What is your favorite part of working for Landesa?
"At Landesa, we strongly believe in prioritizing 'primary information,' which is gathered by visiting villages and interacting with the rural communities we serve. We invest a great amount of time in understanding the ground realities before making decisions. Visiting rural villages, talking with the respondents, and interacting with rural women and local formal and informal officials are some of my favorite things about my work with Landesa."



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