Rural women’s access to land in Latin America

Rural women’s access to land in Latin America

Introducing equality in land access

Paper addresses the following concerns:

  • rural women have limited access to and control of land
  • most agrarian reforms and legislation that directly or indirectly regulate access to land discriminate against women
  • the establishment of legal frameworks with a gender perspective and the elimination of cultural and institutional factors that prevent the recognition of women as producers are essential to safeguard rural women’s access to land.

    Merely introducing principles of equality into constitutions and in certain norms is not sufficient. It is necessary to establish a coherent legal framework and to create the basis and conditions for a legalised gender culture, among both the beneficiaries of the law and the institutions. Likewise, it is essential to make fundamental changes in the cultural patterns and institutional mechanisms so as to anticipate and ensure the access of rural women to land, aiming for a sustained increase in agricultural productivity, ensuring a more efficient land use and contributing to food security. The modification of beliefs and customs is a long and complicated task. Therefore, it is necessary to invest resources and efforts to design ongoing, integral and long-term programmes that are geared to make community members, NGO personnel and institutional officials aware of the productive role played by women and the importance of their participation in rural development. At the same time, it is essential to dedicate human and financial resources to develop, promote and use all necessary means for the enforcement of programmes and development strategies that have a gender perspective.

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