GI-ESCR urges the CEDAW Committee to recognize the human rights dimensions of women’s access to land
Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights urges the CEDAW Committee to recognize the human rights dimensions of women’s access to land and other productive resources
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today convened a Day of General Discussion on rural women as the next step towards a General Recommendation on Article 14 of CEDAW on the rights of rural women. The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was invited to prepare a background paper for the Committee and Mayra Gómez, Co-Executive Director of the GI-ESCR, participated as a keynote speaker.
In her presentation, Dr. Gómez highlighted that land is a critical issue for rural women and that in many cases the issue of land itself is a prism through which structural patterns of gender inequality can be revealed and eradicated.
The Committee also heard how the livelihoods and welfare of rural women is inextricably linked to their secure rights to land and that rural women’s secure rights to land is a precondition for their ability to enjoy many of the other rights enshrined in the CEDAW and other international human rights treaties.
Dr. Gómez offered concrete recommendations to the Committee, including:
- Continuing to develop the normative framework for women’s secure rights to land, particularly by clarify the obligations of States through its General Recommendations, Concluding Observations as well as cases considered under the Optional Protocol;
- Continuing to encourage States to reform discriminatory national laws which may negatively impact rural women’s ability to enjoy secure rights to land;
- Highlighting the extra-legal obstacles to substantive equality and propose strategies for tackling these obstacles.
Finally, recommendations towards the implementation of land rights of women were made to States, including:
- Develop a comprehensive strategy to address negative customs and traditional practices which affect full enjoyment of secure land rights by women, including where appropriate, through temporary special measures to accelerate the advancement of these rights;
- To raise awareness about secure rights to land for women and women’s perspectives amongst traditional, religious and customary leaders, law makers, lawyers and advocates, the judiciary, law enforcement authorities, housing authorities and administrators, gender ministries, and those engaged in the development or implementation of land policy or land reform;
- Ensure access to legal and support services for women wishing to understand and enforce their rights, and that concrete remedies are available for rights violations;
- Invest in targeted information dissemination and capacity building programs so that women can claim their rights and involve themselves in community fora and discussions with land administration authorities.
The GI-ESCR also facilitated the participation of its partners Landesa and GROOTS Kenya and made a joint NGO intervention before the Committee along with International Land Coalition, Landesa, Action Aid, Huairou Commission, International Accountability Project and International Center for Research on Women which also addressed the issue of women’s rights to land and other productive resources.
The GI-ESCR Background Paper can be seen HERE.
Dr. Gomez’s Key Note Presentation can be seen HERE.
The Joint NGO statement can be seen HERE.