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Women's access to land news in the FAO Dimitra Newsletter - February 2012


I invite you to read the last Dimitra newsletter from FAO, which includes several pages on women's land rights, with case studies from Niger, Mali and Madagascar. Below you can find an excerpt from the forward by Marcela Villarreal (Director, Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division, FAO) and links to the three case studies.

Dear readers,
Welcome to the latest issue of the FAO-Dimitra newsletter. This issue focuses on particularly innovative activities that enable women to have better access to land in several African countries. In Niger, thanks to the debates that began in their listeners’ club, the women of Banizoumbou now have secure access to a large plot of land for 99 years. This initiative has attracted other investors who will stimulate further activities. Hopefully, all forms of discrimination against women in land matters will have disappeared by the time the lease expires! In Mali, the Groupe de Recherche et de Réalisations pour le Développement rural (GRDR – Research and Action Group for Rural Development) has taken a great step forward as regards involving women in its surface water management programme by protecting their right to land access, demanding that they participate in decision-making, and giving them access to the training they need to perform an economic activity. In Madagascar, custom still takes precedence over land reform laws which give men and women equal access to land. An action research in the Central Highlands has shown that there is a need for widespread awareness-raising campaigns. [....]

Niger | Land for a century for Banizoumbou’s women

It all started with a debate organised by the women of the Banizoumbou community listeners’ club… now an amazing initiative will make a dream come true. Eight of the village’s landowners have agreed to lend a plot of land to the village women’s group for agriculture, and the agreements have been formalised in a contract. Below is the story of this innovative experience which will secure land for a women’s group. [Read more]

Mali | Women’s cooperatives and land agreements

Building dams and supplying villages with water is all well and good, but ensuring they are optimally used is even better! That is what the Groupe de Recherche et de Réalisations pour le Développement rural (GRDR – Research and Action Group for Rural Development) has tried to do as part of a surface water management programme that has been underway in Mali since 2007. Women, often organised into cooperatives, are the main stakeholders in this development work, particularly where market gardening activities are concerned. By protecting women’s right to land access, demanding that they be involved in decision-making and giving them access to the training they need to perform an economic activity, GRDR is restoring women to their place at the centre of everything. [Read more]

Madagascar | Land reform and women’s access to land

The history of land tenure in Madagascar has been rather turbulent. Since the country became independent in 1960, the legal framework has been based on the principle of land as State property and on land ownership justified by an individual registration system involving the issuance of land titles. However, the Malagasy people have rarely used this procedure for registering land rights. Ignorance of land laws, the complexity and excessive cost of the registration procedure, the land administration’s lack of resources and the centralisation of land services and domains have led to a national land tenure crisis in the country. [Read more]


Sunday, January 1, 2012

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FAO Dimitra Newsletter