Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Land Tenure

Climate Chaos: Ecofeminisms and the Land Question


Isla, Ana, ed. 2019. Climate Chaos: Ecofeminisms and the Land Question. Toronto: Inanna Publications & Education Inc. 

Author: Ana Isla, ed.


"Today's social and ecological crises, which threaten the preservation of life on our planet, require our attention to understand the dynamics of patriarchy and capitalism, as well as to unmask "answers" or false solutions that obscure, perpetuate, and even worsen the current situation. Ecofeminists have critically examined several of the underlying assumptions of the capitalist-patriarchal conceptual framework, such as the promotion of the destructive transformation of nature, hierarchical thinking, the encouragement of dualism, the enforcement of the logic of domination over life, even the hatred for life itself, and speciecism. Yet ecofeminism's attempts to call attention to and stop the destruction of the planet have not yet been able to tackle the growing problem of climate change, which is threatening not only life on earth, but the earth and all her "living systems." Climate change and extreme weather are exacerbating existing social inequalities and political conflicts globally. Climate justice is the starting point from which we can begin to build the kind of local and international solidarity that is needed to address climate change and transform the socio-economic hierarchies that caused it. This volume re-examines existing analyses from this new and much broader point of view in theory and practise, and points to the need for a new concept of nature and the earth as a living being, a cosmic being, so that it is the life of the earth herself that today must be protected" (Summary from Amazon). 

Table of Contents:

1. Climate Chaos: Mother Earth Under Threat

Ana Isla

2. Money or Life? What Makes Us Really Rich?

Veronica Bennholdt-Thomsen

3. Deconstructing Necrophilia: Eco/feminist Perspectives on the Perversion of Death and Love

Irene Friesen

4. The Guardians of Conga Lagoons – Defending Land, Water and Freedom in Peru

Ana Isla

5. Ecofeminisms, Commons and Climate Justice

Patricia E. (Ellie) Perkins

6. Finite Disappointments or Infinite Hope: Working through Tensions within Transnational Feminist Movements

Dorothy Attakora-Gyan

7. Sasipihkeyihtamowin: Niso Nehiyaw iskwewak

Margaret Kress

8. Climate Change and Environmental Racism: What Payments for Ecosystem Services Means for Peasants and Indigenous Peoples

Ana Isla

9. Biotechnology and Biopiracy: Plant-Based Contraceptives in the Americas and the (Mis)management of Nature 

Rachel O’Donnell

10. Building Food Sovereignty through Ecofeminism in Kenta: From Capitalist to Commoners’ Agricultural Value Chains 

Leigh Brownhill, Wahu M. Kaara and Terisa E. Turner

11. Monsanto and the Patenting of Life: Primitive Accumulation in the Twenty-First Century

Jennifer Bonato

12. “I Know My Own Body…They Lied”: Race, Knowledge, and Environmental Sexism in Institute, wv and Old Bhopal, India

Reena Shadaan

13. Water is Worth More than Gold: Ecofeminism and Gold Mining in the Dominican Republic

Klaire Gain

14. Indigenous Andoas Uprising: Defending Territorial Integrity and Autonomy in Peru

Ana Isla

15. The “Greening” of Costa Rica: A War Against Subsistence

Ana Isla

16. Earth Love: Finding our Way Back Home

Ronnie Joy Leah

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Land grabbing, Race, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, India, Peru

Year: 2019

Gender and Forest Tenure Reform in Indonesia


Siscawati, Mia. 2020. "Gender and Forest Tenure Reform in Indonesia." Working Paper 258, Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia.

Author: Mia Siscawati


This report considers the gender dimensions of forest tenure and forest tenure reform in Indonesia. Data were derived from CIFOR’s research on forest tenure reform in Indonesia at the national and provincial levels, focusing on the provinces of Lampung and Maluku. Additional data were taken from training workshops on gender and community-based forest tenure reform held at these two sites. The study shows that, at the macro scale, the gender dimension of forest tenure reform is marked by the intersection of global efforts toward gender equality and women’s empowerment with the development of equitable and sustainable forest resources through forest tenure reform. At the national level, policies on gender equality and women’s empowerment have contributed to the development of gender mainstreaming policies within the forestry sector. However, national forest tenure reform policies and programs still give little consideration to gender equality and women’s empowerment. The meso scale of provincial and district levels is marked by the implementation of gender-neutral national forest tenure reform policies and programs at landscape level. In Lampung Province, two permits within social forestry schemes, namely hutan kemasyarakatan (HKm or community-managed forests) and hutan tanaman rakyat (HTR, community-based plantation forests), predominate. In contrast, hutan adat (customary forest) is more commonly found in Maluku Province. Local communities in Maluku Province are currently searching for a forest tenure reform scheme that best protects their tenurial rights to forest lands and resources. At the micro scale, the case study of Lampung Province shows that the implementation of forest tenure reform schemes has not significantly changed gender norms. Nevertheless, women’s participation in decision making at household and community level is gradually increasing, albeit in a limited way. Since the implementation of HKm permits, household income from secured forest lands has increased. This rise in income is slowly increasing the likelihood that girls will have higher education. The application of forest tenure scheme(s) at micro scale in Lampung has made women feel safe and secure in managing the land, without fear of intervention by authorities. They are able to manage non-timber forest products and earn cash income to cover living expenses. They also contribute to sustainable forest management, replanting to preserve plants from extinction. In addition, security of tenure rights appears to have led to a decrease in the number of men temporarily migrating in order to look for work or additional cash income. The presence of more adult men in the family has positively contributed to the utilization of the forest land under HKm permits, which has had a positive impact on the land and resources. The case study of Maluku Province shows that the existing tradition of active participation of women in household and community decision making could contribute to the recognition and protection of their rights, and those of other marginal groups, over forest lands and resources.

Topics: Education, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Governance, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2020

Reasons of Gender. Gender, Household Composition and Land Restitution Process in Colombia


García-Reyes, Paola, and Henrik Wiig. 2020. "Reasons of Gender. Gender, Household Composition and Land Restitution Process in Colombia. Journal of Rural Studies 75: 89-97. 

Authors: Paola García-Reyes, Henrik Wiig


This article analyses the gender context of the land restitution process in Colombia using our own survey data of beneficiaries in Montes de María region on the Atlantic Coast. We find that the fulfilment of legal gender provisions takes place in cultural frames and social structures that could undermine the program's gender distributive potential. As studies on land policies and their gender impacts show, context matters greatly. Our findings confirm main insights of earlier literature with respect to occupation, origin of property and household composition as sources of gender differentiation in Latin America, but advance the agenda in two directions: by showing more nuanced differences between genders, and by highlighting the relevance of household composition in respondents’ decision-making. In particular, it is more likely that women live in one-parent households than men. Furthermore, female respondents expect other family members to work their land, while male respondents intend to work the land themselves. Such differences might have distributional effects so far not sufficiently understood and investigated.


Keywords: rural policies, gender, households composition, land restitution, land property

Topics: Gender, Land Tenure, Households, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Las mujeres rurales y su derecho a la tierra: retos de la política pública en Colombia


Gómez Mendoza, María Juliana, and Luisa Paola Sanabria Torres. 2020. "Las mujeres rurales y su derecho a la tierra: retos de la política pública en Colombia." Trabajo Social 22 (1): 85-104.


Authors: María Juliana Gómez Mendoza, Luisa Paola Sanabria Torres


El presente artículo es resultado de una experiencia en la formulación y ejecución de la política pública de restitución de tierras y del acompañamiento al programa de ordenamiento social de la propiedad rural de la Agencia Nacional de Tierras. La incorporación del enfoque de género en estas políticas involucra tres elementos centrales: el reconocimiento de las mujeres como propietarias de los predios, el aumento de su participación en espacios de decisión y la promoción del recono- cimiento de los derechos de las mujeres entre los funcionarios públicos.
The article is the result of an experience in the formulation and execution of the land restitution public policy and the accompaniment provided to the program for the social organization of rural property, carried out by the National Land Agency. The incorporation of gender mainstreaming into these policies involves three main elements: recognition of women as owners of the properties; increased participation of women in decision-making spaces; and promotion among civil servants of the recognition of women’s rights.


Keywords: derecho a la tierra, discriminación, enfoque de género, política pública, tierra, discrimination, gender mainstreaming, land, public policy, right to land, women

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Land Tenure, Governance, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Past Wrongs and Gender Rights: Issues and Conflicts in South Africa's Land Reform


Jacobs, Susie. 1998. "Past Wrongs and Gender Rights: Issues and Conflicts in South Africa's Land Reform." European Journal of Development Research 10 (2): 70-87.

Author: Susie Jacobs


South Africa's agrarian situation presents a range of daunting issues, including extreme rural poverty & a government hindered by severe financial constraints. At the same time, the country's attempts to incorporate gender issues into land reform are virtually unique. Discussed here are several major issues confronting the present pilot programs operating in 9 provinces & any future reform: demand for land; demand for services; the issue of "the household"; traditional authorities; forms of land tenure; & the nature of public participation. It is stressed that all of these are gender issues, as is the extent of conflict raised through overt discussion of gender processes. None of these questions has a straightforward answer, but their consideration is likely to raise additional questions.

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender Analysis, Land Tenure, Households, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1998

“Without Land You Are Nobody”: Critical Dimensions of Women‟s Access to Land and Relations in Tenure in East Africa


Verma, Ritu. 2007. Without Land You Are Nobody': Critical Dimensions of Women‟s Access to Land and Relations in Tenure in East Africa. International Development Research Centre. 

Author: Ritu Verma


Table of Contents:

1. Dedication & Acknowledgements
2. List of Acronyms 
3. Introduction 
4. Conceptual and Methodological Points of Departure 
        Conceptual Framework
        Gender-Based Methodology 
5. Common Themes and Issues Across Country Contexts
        Symbolic and Cultural Meanings
        Struggles over Land in a Situation of Legal Pluralism
        The Relationship between Land and Labour and other Productive Resources
        Lack of Implimentation and Political Will
6. Country Specific Issues and Differences 
        Ethiopia: Gender and Evolving Complex Notions of Rights to Land
        Kenya: The Marginalization of the Marginalized and the Re-Entrenchment of Patriarchal Discourses and Practices 
        Rwanda: Emerging Gender and Land Rights Issues & „the Great Disappearing Act
in a Post-Conflict Era
        Uganda: Gender and Eroding Political Gains & Micro-Political Struggles 
        Other East African Dynamics: Gender, Caste & the Power of Ancestors 
7. Conclusions: Identifying Gaps, Gender-Positive Action & the Way Forward 
        Identifying Gaps in Research and Capacity 
        Gender-Positive Action, Support and Agency 
        Making a Difference at the Grassroots is the Only Way Forward
8. Bibliography
Appendix A – Gender and Land Tenure References & Related Literature 53
Appendix B – Key Researchers and Organizations Working on Gender and Land Issues 71
Appendix C – Key Internet Web Sites & Web Links 85
End Notes

Topics: Caste, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda

Year: 2007

Women’s Right to Land in Post-Conflict Situations: an Opportunity to Overcome Discriminatory Laws and a Tool for Transformative Justice


Martínez, Elisenda Calvet. 2017. "Women’s Right to Land in Post-Conflict Situations: an Opportunity to Overcome Discriminatory Laws and a Tool for Transformative Justice." Paper presented at 5th European Conference on Gender and Politics, Lausanne, June 8-10.

Author: Elisenda Calvet Martínez


The restitution of land in post-conflict situations has been object of increasing interest in the past years due to the importance of safeguarding the right of refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes and places of residence in safe and dignified conditions, with the aim to achieve a just and lasting peace. In situations of post-conflict, women become widowed or heads of household; however, local laws and customs do not recognize them inheritance rights or allow them to own property, which leads to discrimination and it also deprives them of their means of subsistence and of sustenance for their family.

Practice shows that despite adopting gender-sensitive peace agreements and new laws to provide for equal rights for women and men, women’s access to land is still restricted because discriminatory local laws continue to apply and it is very difficult to change traditions, leading to the perpetuation of gender discrimination. Therefore, I argue that addressing women’s right to land in post-conflict situations offers an opportunity to overcome discriminatory laws and build a restitution program upon a more equitable system of property ownership. In this sense, the Pinheiro Principles (UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, 2005) provide that States should ensure that housing, land and property restitution programs, policies and practices recognize the joint ownership rights of both male and female heads of the household as an explicit component of the restitution process, and that restitution programs, policies and practices reflect a gender-sensitive approach. Moreover, securing women’s land tenure in a post-conflict context may constitute a tool for transformative justice, understood as a process that challenges the inequalities and community structures and looks to integrate both personal and social transformation, which goes beyond restorative justice.

Keywords: conflict resolution, gender, human rights, social justice, transitional states, women, peace

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Households, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Peace Processes, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2017

Women’s Tenure Rights and Land Reform in Angola


Cain, Allan. 2019. "Women’s Tenure Rights and Land Reform in Angola." Paper prepared for 2019 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, Washington D.C., March 25-29. 

Author: Allan Cain


Current Angolan municipalisation reforms present a unique opportunity to affect local practice on how community and individual land-holder tenure is administered and to protect women's equitable rights to land. Angola is a post-war country, with weak land tenure legislation and limited local government management capacity. Customary traditions are practiced in the various regions a of the country do not respect women’s rights of ownership and inheritance. More than 62 percent of the population live in informal settlements with insecure land tenure under the threat of forced evictions. Families living in poor communities affected by the expansion of cities and towns are particularly vulnerable. Of these, families lead by women are the most at risk. Securing rights to land and housing assets are important to livelihoods of women headed households by permitting access to financing that they require to grow their enterprises as well as for incrementally upgrading their housing.

Keywords: women, gender, tenure, land reform, customary, human rights

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Land Tenure, Households, Post-Conflict, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Angola

Year: 2019

Decoding Gender Justice in Land Conflicts Resolution in Rwanda


Uwayezu, Ernest and John Mugisha. 2018. "Decoding Gender Justice in Land Conflicts Resolution in Rwanda." African Journal of Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences 1 (1): 1-20.

Authors: Ernest Uwayezu, John Mugisha


Rwanda has implemented a land tenure regularization program since 2008 that enabled the adjudication and registration of land rights for both men and women. However, Rwandan women are vulnerable to land conflicts because some men do not recognize or respect women’s rights in land. This study investigates the extent to which government institutions in Rwanda empower women in claiming and defending their land rights. Data sources include questionnaire survey, interviews, and the review of literature on land reform in Rwanda. Findings reveal that Rwandan women preferably lodge their land claims to local authorities or mediation committees because the process of land conflict resolution is fair, free of charge and faster. However, the most used land conflict resolution mechanisms cannot enforce its decisions when some men are against those decisions. There is a need to think of mechanisms to enforce those decisions.

Depuis l’an 2008, le Rwanda a lancé un programme de régularisation du system foncier ayant permis l'adjudication et l'enregistrement des droits fonciers pour les hommes et les femmes. Cependant, les femmes rwandaises sont vulnérables aux conflits fonciers parce que leurs droits fonciers ne sont ni reconnus, ni respectés par certains hommes. Cette étude explore comment les institutions gouvernementales au Rwanda appuient des femmes pour revendiquer leurs droits fonciers à travers le processus de résolution des conflits fonciers. L’étude se fonde sur des enquêtes par questionnaire, des entretiens et de la revue de la littérature sur le sujet. Elle révèle que les femmes rwandaises soumettent leurs plaintes auprès des autorités locales et des comités de médiation qui règlent ces plaintes d’une de façon juste, rapide et gratuitement. Comme ces autorités n’imposent pas leurs décisions, il faudrait instituer des mécanismes d’appliquer ces décisions quand certains hommes en sont contre.

Keywords: women's land rights, conflict resolution, mediation, Rwanda, droits fonciers des femmes, résolution des conflits

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Gender, Land Tenure, Governance, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2018

Women’s Experiences of Land Conflicts in the Context of the Land Tenure Reform Program in Rwanda


Bayisenge, Jeannette. 2015. "Women’s Experiences of Land Conflicts in the Context of the Land Tenure Reform Program in Rwanda." International Journal of Gender and Women's Studies 3 (1): 118-33.

Author: Jeannette Bayisenge


Land is a highly important and contested resource in developing countries, and despite measures taken to ensure gender equality in land-ownership, women experience more land-related conflicts than men. The purpose of this paper is to explore women's experiences of land-related conflicts in the context of the Land Tenure Reform Program in Rwanda. Theoretically, a bargaining approach to land conflicts guides the understanding of the findings and their analysis. Empirical data are mainly collected from 480 women in the Musanze District, using survey interviews, semi-structured interviews and Focus Group Discussions. Findings indicate that only a small number of women reported having encountered land conflicts, which may be related to the culture of not exposing family issues to the public. Land conflicts that women face are mostly related to inheritance, polygamy and the daily management of land and its produce. Women reported that challenges such as lack of legal knowledge, as well as rejection of their claims by their husbands, families and community affect their willingness to pursue claims for their rights. The challenges that women are confronted with while claiming their rights are mainly influenced by the power structure that are based on male supremacy. Consequently, reforms aiming at strengthening women's land rights must be based on a good understanding of social and cultural norms

Keywords: women, land conflicts, land tenure reform, Rwanda

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2015


© 2020 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - Land Tenure