Gender, Land, and Water: From Reform to Counter-Reform in Latin America

Citation:

Deere, Carmen Diana, and Magdalena Leon. 1998. “Gender, Land, and Water: From Reform to Counter-Reform in Latin America.” Agriculture and Human Values 15(4): 375–86.

Authors: Carmen Diana Deere, Magdalena Leon

Abstract:

Rural women did not fare very well in the land reforms carried out during the Latin American “reformist period” of the 1960s and 1970s, with women being under-represented among the beneficiaries. It is argued that women have been excluded from access to and control over water for similar reasons that they were excluded from access to land during these reforms. The paper also investigates the extent to which women have gained or lost access to land during the “counter-reforms” of the 1980s and 1990s. Under the neo-liberal agenda, production cooperatives as well as communal access to land have largely been undermined in favor of privatization and the individual parcelization of collectives. Significant land titling efforts are also being carried out throughout the region to promote the development of a vigorous land market. This latter period has also been characterized by the growth of the feminist movement throughout Latin America and a growing commitment by states to gender equity. The paper reviews the extent to which rural women‘s access to land and, thus, water has potentially been enhanced by recent changes in agrarian and legal codes.
 

Keywords: cooperatives, land markets, land reform, gender and land, Latin American rural women, Neo-liberal restructuring

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Privatization, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 1998

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