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Realizing Women’s Rights to Land and Other Productive Resources

image of Realizing Women’s Rights to Land and Other Productive Resources
This publication provides detailed guidance for lawmakers and policymakers, as well as civil society organizations and other stakeholders, to support the adoption and effective implementation of laws, policies and programmes to respect, protect and fulfil women’s rights to land and other productive resources. It is based on the results of an expert group meeting held in June 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland, where critical issues facing women today in relation to the enjoyment of their land rights were raised. Land itself can be understood to include farmland, wetland, pasture, rangeland, fishery, forest, as well as harvesting and hunting territories. Throughout this publication the phrase “women’s rights to land” must be understood holistically and in a manner which is grounded in the international human rights framework, and in the context of intersecting forms of discrimination. While this publication focuses on women’s rights to land, it is also recognized that land is inextricably linked to women’s access to, use of and control over other productive resources, such as property, fisheries, livestock and game. Therefore, the publication also uses the phrase “women’s rights to land and other productive resources” to reflect this broader context.

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Background: Why focus on women and land?

Women’s access to, use of and control over land and other productive resources are essential to ensuring their right to equality and to an adequate standard of living. These resources help to ensure that women are able to provide for their day-to-day needs and those of their families, and to weather some of life’s most difficult challenges. Women’s access to land and other productive resources is integrally linked to discussions around global food security, sustainable economic development, as well as the pressing fight against the HIV epidemic and prevention of and responses to gender-based violence.

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