The Global Initiative on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, along with its partner the Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights, contributed to consultations around the post-2015 Millennium Development Goal agenda.
Together, the GI-ESCR and Landesa presented a paper on Women’s Land and Property Rights and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The paper provided detailed information on the current state of women’s rights to access, use of, and control over land and other resources. The paper pointed out that just as “discrimination against women and girls impairs progress in all other areas of development,” gender inequality in secure rights to land and property impedes progress in achieving inclusive economic and social development, environmental sustainability, and peace and security – dimensions the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda identified as requiring progress to build an equitable, secure, and sustainable world.
Secure rights to land and property for women are widely regarded as fundamental to ensuring effective and sustainable human development. Rights to land and property include the right to own, use, access, control, transfer, exclude, inherit and otherwise make decisions about land and related resources. Secure rights to land are rights that are clearly defined, long-term, enforceable, appropriately transferable, and legally and socially legitimate. For women, exercising these rights should not require consultation or approval beyond that required of men.
Globally, there is an evident correlation between gender inequality, societal poverty, and the failure to respect, protect and fulfill these rights for women. This failure entrenches gender inequality by reinforcing women’s dependence on men, and prevents poor countries from finding a sustainable and equitable path to development. Strengthening women’s secure rights to land can help empower them to reach their potential as citizens and as economic actors, and enable them to take control over their own lives.
In its recommendations, the paper advocates for the inclusion of targets specifically related to women’s land and property rights in the post-2015 development agenda.
The paper is available HERE.