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Land Grabbing

Land, Gender, and Food Security


Doss, Cheryl, Gale Summerfield, and Dzodzi Tsikata. 2014. “Land, Gender, and Food Security.” Feminist Economics 20 (1): 1–23. 

Authors: Cheryl Doss, Gale Summerfield, Dzodzi Tsikata


Since 2008, a surge in large-scale land acquisitions, or land grabs, has been taking place in low- and middle-income countries around the globe. This contribution examines the gendered effects of and responses to these deals, drawing on nine studies, which include conceptual framing essays that bring in debates about human rights, studies that draw on previous waves of land acquisitions globally, and case studies that examine the gendered dimensions of land dispossession and loss of common property. Three key insights emerge: the evolving gender and land tenure literature provides valuable information for understanding the likely effects of land deals; some of the land deal issues transcend gender-equity concerns and relate to broader problems of dispossession and loss of livelihoods; and huge gaps remain in our knowledge of gender and land rights that require urgent attention and systematic integration of gender analysis into mainstream research.

Keywords: gender, land rights, land acquisition, food security, land grabs

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Land Tenure, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security

Year: 2014

Governing the Global Land Grab: What Role for Gender in the Voluntary Guidelines and the Principles for Responsible Investment?


Collins, Andrea M. 2014. "Governing the Global Land Grab: What Role for Gender in the Voluntary Guidelines and the Principles for Responsible Investment?" Globalizations 11 (2): 189-203.

Author: Andrea M. Collins


The heightened interest in large-scale foreign agricultural investment in regions with ‘unused’ arable land has triggered a great deal of international attention. Concerns about ‘land grabbing’ have initiated efforts at the global level to establish standards for ‘responsible investment’ and good governance. These initiatives warrant critical examination given the social, political, and economic inequalities to which they are designed to respond, yet the scholarship on these initiatives frequently fails to incorporate gendered analyses. This article argues that gendered analysis of the governance of land grabs not only belongs at the local level—where it continues to yield important insights into how gender inequality is manifested in various forms of local governance—but that it is sorely needed at the global level as well. As such, this article begins an assessment of these governance frameworks and how they consider local realities, with particular attention to gender-based inequalities.

Keywords: gender, global governance, land grabbing, large-scale land acquisitions, voluntary guidelines, agricultural investment

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Land Grabbing, Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2014

Gender and ‘Land Grabbing’ in Sub-Saharan Africa: Women’s Land Rights and Customary Land Tenure


Chu, Jessica. 2011. “Gender and ‘Land Grabbing’ in Sub-Saharan Africa: Women’s Land Rights and Customary Land Tenure.” Development 54 (1): 35–39. doi:10.1057/dev.2010.95.

Author: Jessica Chu


Jessica Chu seeks to enquire into the understanding of gender impacts with the new proliferation of cross-border, large-scale land transactions or global ‘land grabs’. There has been a lack of discussion of gender in considering land grabs, most notably in the World Bank’s recent report and in the various proposed guidelines. However, by not having addressed the current debates on women’s land rights, particularly in regard to the return of customary law, current proposed solutions will fail to address the gender inequalities propagated by the land grabs.

Keywords: women's land rights, customary law, land grabs, the World Bank, gender relations

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, International Financial Institutions, International Organizations, Land Grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2011

The Gender Implications of Large-Scale Land Deals


Behrman, Julia, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, and Agnes Quisumbing. 2011. The Gender Implications of Large-Scale Land Deals. IFPRI Discussion Paper 01056. Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division, Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute.

Authors: Julia Behrman, Ruth Meinen-Dick, Agnes Quisumbing


This paper strives to introduce a discussion of the gender dimensions into the growing debate on large-scale land deals. It addresses the current information gap on the differential gender effects of large-scale land deals through (1) an overview of the phases of large-scale land deals and discussion of related effects on rural men and women based on new literature on large-scale land deals and past literature on the gender effects of commercialization and contract farming; (2) a presentation of further evidence using several recent case studies on the gender effects of large-scale deals; (3) an identification of knowledge gaps and areas where further research is needed; and (4) a recap of promising initiatives, followed by recommendations and conclusions.

Keywords: gender, large-scale land deals, land tenure reform

Topics: Economies, Gender, Land Tenure, Land Grabbing, Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2011

Gender-Based Violence and Property Grabbing in Africa: A Denial of Women’s Security and Liberty


Izumi, Kaori. 2007.”Gender-Based Violence and Property Grabbing in Africa: A Denial of Women’s Security and Liberty.” Gender and Development 15 (1): 11-23.

Author: Kaori Izumi


Property grabbing is a new form of gendered violence against women, threatening the security of women across Southern and East Africa. Forced evictions are often accompanied by further acts of violence, including physical and mental harassment, and abuse. Widows are particularly vulnerable, partly as a result of weakened customary practice and social safety nets that used to provide support to widowed women and their children, a situation made worse by the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Defending their property has cost some women their lives, while other women have lost their shelter and source of livelihoods, and have become destitute. The harassment and humiliation that often accompany property grabbing further strip women of their self-esteem, affecting their ability to defend their rights.

Keywords: gendered violence, insecurity, physical abuse, mental harassment, women's rights, Property grabbing

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, Land Grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa

Year: 2007


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