An Assessment of Land Tenure Regimes and Women’s Land Rights in Two Regions of Myanmar


Louis, Elizabeth, Laura Eshbach, Beth Roberts, & Naw Dah Htee. 2018. “An Assessment of Land Tenure Regimes and Women’s Land Rights in Two Regions of Myanmar.” Paper prepared for the 2018 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, The World Bank, Washington D.C., March 19-23.

Authors: Elizabeth Louis, Laura Eshbach, Beth Roberts, Naw Dah Htee


While formal laws and some customary systems in Myanmar recognize the equality of women’s rights within households, evidence suggests a complex picture in which the bundle of rights enjoyed by the male members of a household may not be equally available to women, a picture complicated by the context of Myanmar, with its variations in regional ethnic geopolitics fueled by landlessness, migration, conflict, and displacement. This paper reports on findings of two qualitative gender assessment case studies conducted in 2016 and 2017 in Bago and Tanintharyi regions of Myanmar to contribute to evidence on women’s land rights in Myanmar and help bridge the gaps in knowledge on 1) how women in Myanmar experience their bundle of rights to land: 2) what legal, social, economic, and cultural constraints women face; and 3) what mechanisms can be put in place to take into consideration these constraints as women access their land rights.

Keywords: Customary tenure, gender-responsive framework, Myanmar, qualitative assessment, women's land rights

Topics: Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2018

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