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Land in the right hands - Promoting women's rights to land in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

UN Women working strategies, approaches and methodologies to advance women's land rights in the two countries

Here it is an interesting publication from UN Women on the work done by the UN entity - and UNIFEM before its establishment in 2011 - to promote women's empowerment in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan through land rights. Research and needs assessments carried out from 2000 to 2003 identified some key factors limiting or impeding women's land rights in the two Central Asian countries, including i) the different impact of land reforms on women and men; ii) the need to make land rights productive by giving women access to economic resources and services; iii) the persistence of discriminatory practices despite the law because of patriarchy; iv) the lack of women's awareness of their rights; v) women's low participation in land governance (local, national). To address these issues, UN-Women adopted an holistic, rights-based approach (pp. 14-21) to enhancing rural women's economic security (with a significant role played by CEDAW) and carried out a number of projects (2004-2009) to influence change at the legislative and policy level (pp. 22-33), to empower women in grassroots communities (pp.34-41) and to develop the capacity of different stakeholders (pp. 41-55) (See in particular, the pages on participatory and gender-responsive local planning and budgeting). A last chapter is devoted to the role played by communications (pp. 55 an ff.). The publication provides policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, and activists with some extremely useful insights on women's land rights in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as some good examples and lessons on multi-pronged strategies (and single activities) and parternships (IGOs-CSOs-Govs) enhancing women's acccess to and control over land.