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New ActionAid report documents the adverse effect of land grabs on rural women

'Lay of the land: Improving land governance to stop land grabs' argues that land grabbing can deprive rural women and communities of their livelihoods and land, increasing their food insecurity

[adapted from ActionAid] October, 2012- The report states that the importance of land to rural women goes beyond growing food. Having secure access to, and independent control over, land can mean the difference between, on the one hand, enjoying rights such as education and freedom from violence or, on the other, continual subjugation in society. ActionAid view security of land tenure for impoverished rural communities as a fundamental component of dignified, sustainable development and a crucial step towards reducing poverty and reducing inequality.

This report is divided into two parts. The first looks at the impact of land grabbing on communities and highlights three issues: that women’s rights to land are not being protected in practice; that communities do not have secure land tenure, which is adversely affecting their food security; and that the priorities of foreign investors are outweighing those of local people.

The second part of the report contains 24 country reviews that examine the strengths and weaknesses of each country’s regulatory frameworks, assessing their ability to: provide legislative protection for communities at national and local levels from land grabs; guarantee gender equality at national and local levels; and regulate investment through the measures in place. We also attempt to report the key challenges, innovative practices and lessons learned, which, although context-specific, may be useful for other countries facing similar land governance challenges.


To view the full report, visit