ABSTRACTED FROM THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Following such collection and compilation of relevant information on issues of women’s land rights, this report begins by introducing the centrality of the issue of women’s land rights, the developments in this context, and the remaining challenges with respect to complying on Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the CEDAW on the particular issue of women’s access to land and related resources. This is followed by recommendations for various key actors who are involved in ensuring the related compliance.
Access to Land & Tenure Security
Land tenure is the relationship, whether legally or customarily defined, among people, as individuals or groups, with respect to land. (For convenience, "land" is used here to include other natural resources such as water and trees.) Land tenure is an institution, i.e., rules invented by societies to regulate behaviour. Rules of tenure define how property rights to land are to be allocated within societies. They define how access is granted to rights to use, control, and transfer land, as well as associated responsibilities and restraints. In simple terms, land tenure systems determine who can use what resources for how long, and under what conditions.
Land tenure is an important part of social, political and economic structures. It is multi-dimensional, bringing into play social, technical, economic, institutional, legal and political aspects that are often ignored but must be taken into account. Land tenure relationships may be well-defined and enforceable in a formal court of law or through customary structures in a community. Alternatively, they may be relatively poorly defined with ambiguities open to exploitation.