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References to land in the Beijing Platform for Action

The  Beijing Platform for Action, an agenda for women's empowerment, spelled out a set of objectives and actions to be taken by governments, the international community, non-governmental organisations and the private sector to overcome obstacles to women's equality. Amongt the critical areas of concern relevant to women's land rights mentioned in the document are the following:

  • Inequality in economic structures and policies, in all forms of productive activities and in access to resources 
  • Inequality between men and women in the sharing of power and decision-making at all levels 
  • Lack of respect for and inadequate promotion and protection of the human rights of women  
  • Gender inequalities in the management of natural resources and in the safeguarding of the environment

In paragraph 61 (b), governments agreed to ‘undertake legislative and administrative reforms to give women full and equal access to economic resources, including the right to inheritance and to ownership of land and other property, credit, natural resources and appropriate technologies.”

We are determined to:

35. Ensure women’s equal access to economic resources, including land, credit, science and technology, vocational training, information, communication and markets, as a means to further the advancement and empowerment of women and girls, including through the enhancement of their capacities to enjoy the benefits of equal access to these resources, inter alia, by means of international cooperation;

a.       Women and Poverty

51. Women’s poverty is directly related to the absence of economic opportunities and autonomy, lack of access to economic resources, including credit, land ownership and inheritance, lack of access to education and support services and their minimal participation in the decision-making process.

55. Particularly in developing countries, the productive capacity of women should be increased through access to capital, resources, credit, land, technology, information, technical assistance and training so as to raise their income and improve nutrition, education, health care and status within the household. The release of women’s productive potential is pivotal to breaking the cycle of poverty so that women can share fully in the benefits of development and in the products of their own labour.

Strategic objective A.1. Review, adopt and maintain macroeconomic policies and development strategies that address the needs and efforts of women in poverty

Actions to be taken

58. By Governments:

(m) Enable women to obtain affordable housing and access to land by, among other things, removing all obstacles to access, with special emphasis on meeting the needs of women, especially those living in poverty and female heads of household;

(n) Formulate and implement policies and programmes that enhance the access of women agricultural and fisheries producers (including subsistence farmers and producers, especially in rural areas) to financial, technical, extension and marketing services; provide access to and control of land, appropriate infrastructure and technology in order to increase women’s incomes and promote household food security, especially in rural areas and, where appropriate, encourage the development of producer-owned, market-based cooperatives;

60. By national and international non-governmental organizations and women’s groups:

(f) Mobilize to protect women’s right to full and equal access to economic resources, including the right to inheritance and to ownership of land and other property, credit, natural resources and appropriate.

Actions to be taken

61. By Governments:

(b) Undertake legislative and administrative reforms to give women full and equal access to economic resources, including the right to inheritance and to ownership of land and other property, credit, natural resources and appropriate technologies;

Strategic objective F.1. Promote women’s economic rights and independence, including access to employment, appropriate working conditions and control over economic resources

Actions to be taken

165. By Governments:

(e) Undertake legislation and administrative reforms to give women equal rights with men to economic resources, including access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, credit, inheritance, natural resources and appropriate new technology;

Strategic objective F.2. Facilitate women’s equal access to resources, employment, markets and trade

Actions to be taken

166. By Governments:

(c) Enhance, at the national and local levels, rural women’s income-generating potential by facilitating their equal access to and control over productive resources, land, credit, capital, property rights, development programmes and cooperative structures;

K. Women and the environment

Actions to be taken

256. By Governments:

(a) Integrate women, including indigenous women, their perspectives and knowledge, on an equal basis with men, in decision-making regarding sustainable resource management and the development of policies and programmes for sustainable development, including in particular those designed to address and prevent environmental degradation of the land;

(f) Promote knowledge of and sponsor research on the role of women, particularly rural and indigenous women, in food gathering and production, soil conservation, irrigation, watershed management, sanitation, coastal zone and marine resource management, integrated pest management, land-use planning, forest conservation and community forestry, fisheries, natural disaster prevention, and new and renewable sources of energy, focusing particularly on indigenous women’s knowledge and experience.

ISBN / Resource ID
Date of publication
January 1995