A woman's land rights are essential to

The Stand For Her Land Campaign works to strengthen land rights for women around the world by closing the gap between law and practice and helping fulfill promises of gender equality.

This is a campaign effecting real impact through targeted advocacy within countries to drive meaningful, tangible, and lasting change on the ground. 

Without land to build or maintain a home, to farm or leverage for economic gain, to inherit from a relative, and to use as her own, women’s security, prosperity and dignity remain compromised.

Not only is land vital to her rights. Research has shown that when women have secure rights to land, it is more likely that opportunities will emerge to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of women, their families, and whole communities. 

Recognizing the benefits – thanks in no small part to the tireless advocacy efforts of civil society groups around the world –  dozens of countries have passed new laws to strengthen women’s equal rights to land and inheritance. But too few women realize the benefits of these laws in practice. Instead, weak implementation, a lack of understanding and awareness, and discriminatory social norms and practices get in the way of meaningful progress and undermine women’s rights.

Over the next decade, the campaign aims to empower all women to realize their land rights, whatever the context. It aims to empower indigenous women in Peru to make decisions over their resources and land use. It aims to enable a Maasai pastoralist woman in northern Tanzania to access land. It aims to include the woman farmer living in India on her family’s land title. It aims to recognize the inheritance rights of widows living under customary law in Liberia. And importantly, as more and more people move to cities around the world, it aims to provide women living in urban settlements in Colombia, Kenya or Nepal a safe and secure place to call home.

Focus Country: Tanzania

As in other countries around the world, in Tanzania, progressive laws protecting women’s land rights don’t always translate to change on the ground. That’s why in early 2019, a diverse group of Tanzanian civil society organizations and aid agencies came together to plant the seeds for the first Stand For Her Land country-based campaign. That campaign has now taken root, with 25 Stand For Her Land Tanzania member organizations. Through coordinated advocacy, their varied geographic and issue expertise – whether that’s women’s rights and empowerment, food security, secure land tenure or indigenous rights, among many others – aims to enhance efforts to effect real change at the national, regional and community levels so that women across the country can access their equal rights to land. Together, their collective voice has the power to secure women’s land rights not just on paper, but in their daily lives.

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Sughira, 16, works at weaving silk on a loom in the historic Herat Citadel in Afghanistan. Picture by Graham Crouch / World Bank (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Claudia Jazmin and her daughter, Melody Monzón, 17, stand in the house that she helped build with Habitat for Humanity Argentina. ©Habitat for Humanity International/Jason Asteros

This is an inclusive, collaborative effort among a diverse group of allies, including representatives from civil society, development organizations, women’s rights and empowerment groups, land rights advocates, land mapping and technical specialists, and other sectors the world over. Core partners include Landesa (Secretariat), Global Land Tool Network Partners, Habitat for Humanity, the Huairou Commission, and the World Bank.  These core partners aim to provide resources, tools, and support for national and local advocacy in focal countries, with a coalition of local and national-level actors driving change on the ground. 

The country coalitions will be comprised of groups working on land rights, women’s rights and empowerment, food security, economic development, and other important issues at this intersection. Country coalitions will span both local grassroots organizations and the country offices of large international organizations, all working toward the shared goal of stronger land rights for women. It is the first advocacy campaign of its kind to merge both global and local level efforts to strengthen land rights for women from the ground up.

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