Joint Statement: International Day of Rural Women

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The International Day of Rural Women recognizes that women bear a disproportionate burden of multi-dimensional poverty, but also elevates the critical role and contribution of rural women – including indigenous women – in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security for their families and communities, and eradicating rural poverty. Women’s rights to land and productive resources are essential to their ability to realize a range of human rights and sustainable development goals. Research demonstrates the empowerment effect of women’s land rights: these rights are often a prerequisite to improving food security, sustainable development, gender equality, and good health. Furthermore, access to secure access to land tenure and rights help to mitigate a woman’s vulnerability to poverty, exploitation, HIV, and gender-based violence.

Earlier this year, the United Nations Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice recognized the critical importance of women’s land rights, adopting an unprecedented position paper, stressing that “driven by the urgency of a global rush for land and extracted resources and unprecedented urbanization, hastened by the growing impact of climate change and frequency of natural disasters, women have been at the center of human rights violations worldwide regarding their rights and access to land.”

 

Photo by Landesa

The Working Group urges States to comply with their obligations to “account for the quality, legality and effective implementation, participation and enforceability of land rights for women,” including through the adoption of measures to prevent discrimination against women “in their rights to access, use, inherit, control, and own land.” This discrimination is perpetrated by a variety of actors, including “private corporations and investors, powerful local elites, multilateral organizations, regional trade initiatives and family members.”

Our organizations welcome the adoption of this position paper by the Working Group and urge its widespread dissemination and implementation by States and UN agencies, as well as States’ compliance with their obligation to respect, protect and fulfill women's human rights. Stronger land rights for women are also critical to making real the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and its goals to end poverty, ensure food security, promote environmental conservation, and achieve gender equality. Gender-responsive land-specific Sustainable Development Goals indicators 1.4.2, 5.a.1, and 5.a.2 provide global guidance to governments on tallying data on women’s land rights in law and in practice, both documented and as perceived by the women and men affected.

While land continues to be central to the lives of poor and marginalized communities worldwide, pressures on land are rapidly increasing. Land markets have often proven to be exclusionary and land concentration is on the rise. This pressure has a strong impact on women's lives and their enjoyment of equal rights.

Now more than ever, we must act together to secure and enhance women’s land rights. Join us by signing on in solidarity here.

Signed,

  • Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC)
  • Kenya Legal & Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN)
  • Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights
  • International Land Coalition
  • Womankind Worldwide, UK
  • Kenana Association for Sustainable Development
  • Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN)
  • Feminist League, Kazakhstan
  • Reacción Climática - Bolivia
  • Child and Green Foundation (Nigeria)
  • Kenana Association for Sustainable Development, Egypt
  • Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer - FEIM - Argentina
  • Earth Forever Foundation, Bulgaria.
  • Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD)
  • ECASARD (Ecumenical Association For Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development), Ghana
  • Center for Human Resource Development and Sustainable Agriculture, Ghana
  • Farmers Organizational Network Ghana (FONG)
  • Women in Agricultural Network Ghana (WIANG)
  • Espaço Feminista (Brazil)
  • Fundación Mexicana para la Planificación Familiar AC - Mexico
  • Women Thrive Alliance
  • NETWORK OF RURAL WOMEN PRODUCERS TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (nrwptt)
  • Nerds Rule Inc
  • WiLDAF-AO, Togo
  • RISD, Rwanda
     

  • Project on Organization, Development, Education and Research (PODER)
  • MenEngage Alliance
  • Gender and Water Alliance
  • Soroptimist International
  • LAMMP (Latin American Mining Monitoring Programme)
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Associació Planificació Familiar de Catalunya i Balears.
  • International Women’s Health Coalition
  • Women Deliver
  • Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights
  • The Millennia2025 Women and Innovation Foundation,Belgium
  • Women and Youth's Environmental Safety and empowerment Organisation ( EWAY for Development,)
  • International Federation of Business and Professional Women
  • AFEM (Association Femmes Europe Méridionale)
  • AIDE (Associazione Indipendente Donne Europee)-Italia
  • Associazione DREAM TEAM- Donne per la rivitilazione degli spazi urbani-Italia
  • Coordinadora de la Mujer, Bolivia
  • PSI (Population Services International)
  • Society for Feminist Analyses AnA, Romania
  • OXFAM
  • Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
  • Ngā Kaiawhina o Wai 262, Aotearoa/ New Zealand
  • Red Educacion Popular entre Mujeres  A Latina y el Caribe  REPEM LAC

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