Secure tenure rights and control over land for women and men farmers are key to boosting smallholder productivity, rural development and food security. However, in many parts of the world, men and women have inadequate access to secure property rights over land. Women are particularly disadvantaged: even though they constitute on average 43 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, women’s ownership of agricultural land remains significantly lower than that of men. Women’s lack of secure rights over land translates into lower productivity, perpetrating food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty.
Land statistics disaggregated by sex are essential to monitor progress towards a more secure and gender-equitable land tenure system and to highlight the disparities in land rights between women and men, providing a sense of women’s economic empowerment in agriculture. While clarifying some of the concepts on land, this paper also provides an overview of five indicators of the Gender Land and Rights Database (GLRD), the dimensions they capture and how each one of them is calculated.