Scaling up women’s land rights in Africa

Summary: WLRA brief

Securing land rights for women in Africa: Scaling up impact in Senegal, Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique

As a follow-up to the Expert Gender Meeting in Apeldoorn, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded funding to LANDac and African partners to build upon and scale successful practices and experiences by grassroots organizations and movements that work toward strengthened land rights for women.


Collect women’s voices & ideas Use participatory and action research to collect information and women’s testimonies

Scale-up promising initiatives Provide logistical, financial and technical support to equitable initiatives: women’s grassroots movements, female leadership

Raise awareness and build capacity Disseminate research findings and promote knowledge exchange

Bring together diverse stakeholders Hold multistakeholder Learning Event with diverse participants from regional and local governments, NGOs, farmer organizations, rural women’s leaders, and researchers among others to share research findings, experiences and lessons for advocacy and scaling up.


Given the many benefits, there is a growing momentum to further strengthen women’s access to and control over land and natural resources. For example, women with stronger property rights earn more money, have more savings, and are less likely to experience domestic violence. Strengthened rights also result in more resilient families and communities; they can protect against forced evictions and displacement and families whose female members own land dedicate more money to education, and children are less likely to be sick and severely underweight. This rising momentum for strengthened rights is evidenced for example by the Kilimanjaro Initiative which has mobilized rural women from 22 countries across Africa, the African Union Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa and the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa; land issues are also now being addressed under the SDGs to help eradicate poverty and ‘leave no one behind.’

Within this context, opportunities exist for scaling proven approaches, identifying best practices, and providing much-needed evidence to further support the women’s land rights agenda. Nonetheless, achieving equitable land rights for all is a complex challenge which requires a holistic and coordinated approach via a variety of stakeholders, combined with targeted strategies for promoting and strengthening women’s land rights at scale. Toward this end, LANDac and African partners, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are implementing a year-long action research program, Securing Women’s lands rights in Africa: Scaling Impact in Senegal, Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique, or WLRA.

Expert Group Meeting

As part of the WLRA program, LANDac joined over 40 gender and land rights experts in New York City on July 8 and 9, 2017 for the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) ‘Securing Women’s Land Rights in the SDGs Monitoring Framework: Towards a More Harmonized and Coordinated Global Approach.’  Organized by the Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII), Huairou Commission, Landesa, Oxfam, and UN Women, the EGM took place prior to the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) held from July 10 – 19, 2017. The HLPF is an annual intergovernmental meeting focused on the progress and challenges of SDG implementation. The theme of HLPF 2017, Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World, focused on a selection of SDGs including Goals 1 and 5 which feature the above land-related indicators. The goal of the EGM was to examine these land indicators and find ways to strengthen their responsiveness as well as to promote meaningful, harmonized, and coordinated approaches to monitoring women’s land rights issues at all levels.


Activities planned under the WLRA program for 2018 include the presentation of a working paper with GROOTs Kenya and a Master Class at the World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2018 in Washington DC. The program also includes plans to organize an event at the 2018 LANDac conference.

For more information about the WLRA program, contact Program Coordinator Michelle Nuijen