Celebrating International Women's Day; Five impactful pieces about women's land rights; Seed the Change Gala next week.
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Why are tribal women in India still robbed of their land rights?

By Shipra Deo, Director of Women's Land Rights in India

Two women and a child walking home through a field. Photo Credit: Emily Scott Pottruck / PhotoPhilantropy.

REUTERS—When Talabitti’s husband died in 2016, her claim to the family land seemed to die with him. Though her husband had worked the family land by himself, upon his death his male cousins laid their claim. If Talabitti attempted to make a competing claim, they threatened to drive her away – with violence, if necessary. Sadly, this threat materialized.

Newly widowed, Talabitti needed money and tried to harvest some trees from the land. But the cousins, brandishing machetes, attacked her and the laborer she had hired to harvest the trees. They took the trees and sold them and kept the profits. Because her son was a minor, he could claim nothing, not a single penny – never mind that Talabitti should have an inheritance claim in her own right.

Today, she works as a wage laborer on another farmer’s land, even though her family still has land of their own.

For Talabitti, who lives in Jharkhand state in eastern India, and many other women in Scheduled Tribe communities, this experience is an all too typical example of how women are routinely disinherited. When it comes to land ownership, India’s culture and practices have always been discriminatory to women, but women in tribal society are doubly disadvantaged, first as women and second as tribal women.  Widowhood only compounds these problems. 


Women's land rights from 5 angles

IWD 2021—Achieving gender equality requires a fundamental shift in the balance of power over resources. In more than half of all countries, laws or customs hinder women’s ownership or access to land, which in turn limits opportunity, undermines empowerment, and threatens security.

Land is a fundamental, life-giving asset that provides food, housing, income, resilience, and dignity. Investments in women's land rights are a prerequisite to full gender equality that benefits those most in need.

In honor of International Women's Day this week, here are our top 5 pieces on women's land rights from the past year:

Two women walking with an umbrella in front of a colorful mural.

1. Peace of Land: A Woman’s Right to Safety May Depend on Her Right to Own Property

"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."

Advancing Gender Equality – Women, Land & the SDGs next to a picture of a woman in Tanzania

2. Podcast: Advancing Gender Equality – Women, Land & the SDGs

In this podcast, experts from Gates Foundation, Kenya Land Alliance, Chandler Foundation & more explore how strengthening women’s land rights can advance gender equality, fulfill the promise of the SDGs, and create a more prosperous and peaceful world for all.

Woman in Zambia holds up her new land documents.

3. Women, Land, and Data

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.

Efforts to Halt Desertification and Drought Must Include Women’s Land Rights podcast cover

4. Podcast: Efforts to Halt Desertification and Drought Must Include Women’s Land Rights

In this podcast, Landesa’s Beth Roberts and Shipra Deo have a conversation about the barriers women face to their land rights, and why women must be able to overcome these obstacles to make progress toward global efforts to halt desertification, conserve land, and feed the world.

Gina Alvarado: Land rights for women are solvable.

5. Video: Women's Land Rights are #Solvable

In half the countries in the world, women face obstacles to land rights, leaving millions unable to unlock their full potential. But this challenge is #Solvable. Landesa researcher Gina Alvarado explains how improving land laws and confronting gender norms can help strengthen women’s land rights and create a more equitable world for all.

Seed the Change Gala on March 18

You're Invited - Landesa's Seed the Change on March 18, 2021 5:30pm-6:30pm PDT

VIRTUAL—Seed the Change is next week, March 18th! Come join us in a celebration of Landesa’s global impact and the power of secure land rights for women, men, and their communities. Tickets are still available; act now to secure your spot!

Program features include messages from Landesa’s global staff on their work to fight climate change, a special keynote address from Sally Jewell, and the presentation of the 2021 Roy L. Prosterman Award to James C. Pigott.

Come celebrate, laugh, and support land rights from the comfort of your home at the 2021 Seed the Change Gala on March 18th.



Unable to attend Seed the Change?

Show your support for land rights by creating a fundraiser for Landesa today!

Visit our Gala homepage and select "I Want To Fundraise For This" and tell your friends why you are supporting land rights.

Text to the right of a picture of four women holding their land documents says 'Gender-equitable, socially-inclusive land rights support financial security, sustainable land management, empowerment, food security.'


From Renewable Energy to Responsible Energy

Renewable Energy to Responsible Energy: A Call to Action | 25th March 2021

INDIA—The rapid rise of renewable energy is a keystone element of our transition to a low-carbon economy in India and globally. As the sector continues to expand, stakeholders have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to ensure the imperative to reduce emissions is conducted in a way that is both regenerative and just.

On behalf of the Renewable Energy to Responsible Energy Initiative, Forum for the Future, WRI IndiaThe Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)Landesa and WWF India are inviting you to join an interactive online event on March 25 to mark the launch of its ‘Call to Action’ report. We will share key findings from the report, which aims to provide an overview of the landscape for renewable energy in India, and sets out a compelling case for greater action to ensure that renewable energy fully lives up to its potential to drive positive social and environmental outcomes.

Date: Thursday, 25th March 2021
Time: 4-5:30 pm IST | 11 am-12:30 pm GMT | 5-6:30 am EST
Register for the launch event here

Landesa in the news

Impakter logo

Global Action on Land Degradation Offers a Win-Win Solution for People and the Planet
Impakter published a blog by Rachel McMonagle detailing Landesa’s analysis of progress toward land degradation commitments under the SDGs.

FoodTank logo

25 Inspiring Women Reshaping the Food System
FoodTank highlighted Landesa's Beth Roberts and Diana Fletschner for their work to close the gender gap and empower women in the food system through gender-equal land rights.

IndiaSpend logo

Why We Don't Know How Much Land Women Own
Shipra Deo was quoted an article by Pranab Choudhury about why national datasets in India differ on women’s land rights, and where we might find solutions.

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