in_focus - Women and Land: Securing Rights for Better Lives

Book cover in_focus - Women and Land: Securing Rights for Better Lives
Debbie Budlender, Eileen Alma
110 pages

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Land is an important source of security against poverty across the developing world, but, in many places, unequal rights to land put women at a disadvantage, perpetuates poverty, and entrenches gender inequality. Surprisingly little detailed information exists on women’s relationship to land, and even less is informed by women themselves. This book aims to help fill that gap, drawing on research funded by IDRC over many years.

The core of the book focuses on recent findings from sub-Saharan Africa, where researchers in 14 countries explored the topic from many angles – legal, customary, political, and economic. Researchers from non-governmental organizations, academics, and grassroots activists worked together with communities on the research, exploring the experiences of women in specific contexts.

Grounded in local realities, the evidence gathered in this book aims to capture the diversity and complexity of women’s experiences. Most importantly, it provides fresh insights for policymakers and others working to secure women’s rights to land and thus strengthen the communities in which they live.

The authors

Debbie Budlender is a specialist researcher with the Community Agency for Social Enquiry, a South African non-governmental social policy research organization.
 An interview with Debbie Budlender: How does customary law affect women in South Africa?

Eileen Alma is a program officer at Canada’s International Development Research Centre, where she focuses on the political, economic, and social rights of marginalized women.

Research and funding partners

In the course of supporting this research, IDRC has collaborated with several international organizations, donor partners, and research institutions that work on land tenure issues. 

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