Backgrounder: Gender inequalities in land rights in Africa

| March 1, 2020

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Land is a key economic and livelihood resource for women in Africa. Most women rely on land for their livelihoods and are responsible for much of the agricultural production. In sub-Saharan Africa, women make up nearly 50% of agricultural workers. But many women are either landless or have limited and insecure rights to land. The important role that rural women play in agriculture means that insecure land rights threaten their well-being and that of their children and their communities.

Improving women’s access to land is one way of increasing gender equality and addressing other important development goals. So far, efforts to improve women’s access to land have focused on agricultural land. This focus needs to be broadened to include access to other resources linked to land such as forests, water, minerals, and urban space.

This backgrounder contains four broad sections, with insights into the status of women’s rights, and information on activities to strengthen and realize those rights:

  • Introduction
  • Customary tenure and women’s right to land
  • Positive efforts that support secure land rights for women
  • Conclusion