SE126 How the VGGT have changed rural women's lives: Key strategies and innovations towards gender equality

Organizers

  • FAO
  • Global Land Tool Network (GLTN)
  • Cadasta Foundation
  • Land Portal Foundation

The purpose of the side event is to showcase key strategies and innovations that are contributing to gender equality in agriculture and land tenure in the context of the VGGT. It will present how collaboration among different stakeholders at national, regional and global level can support the achievement of SDG targets, and how land monitoring initiatives contribute to tracking progress towards these indicators.

FAO is a custodian agency for the SDGs indicator 5.a.2 on women's land ownership and control, which echoes the principle of gender equality in the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) and was inserted under Goal 5 of the SDGs on gender equality and women's empowerment. Particular focus will be given to the gender equality in tenure governance and how land tenure can be governed that address the different needs and priorities of women and men. Gender equality is one of the ten core principles for implementation of the VGGT and it is closely tied to three others-human dignity, non-discrimination, and equity and justice. The dearth of data on women's land rights makes it difficult to set policies and gauge progress, preventing governments and organizations from taking measurable steps to empower women and improve live, and also to track progress towards implementation of the VGGT. Reliable sex-disaggregated data on land is crucial for highlighting disparities in land rights between women and men. This data improves policy formulation and to monitor progress towards gender equality in agriculture and land tenure.

This Side Event will bring together a range of experts to showcase efforts to ensure that women and men can participate equally in their relationships to land, through both formal institutions and informal arraignments for land administration and management, and to highlight initiatives that are underway to eliminate the gender data gap on land rights. The panel discussion will aim to identify bottlenecks and define a path forward to creating an enabling environment in which women's tenure security is better recognized as playing a major role in the eradication of poverty and the achievement of sustainable development, while demonstrating how data on land and gender can empower women and girls and contribute to increased food security and nutrition.

Key speakers/presenters

  • Oumar Sylla, Head of Land and GLTN Unit UN-Habitat
  • Naome Kabanda, Head of National Land Policy Implementation, Uganda
  • Laura Meggiolaro, Land Portal Foundation Team Leader
  • Amy Coughenour, Chief Executive Officer of Cadasta Foundation

Main themes/issues discussed

Gender equality is one of the ten core implementation principles of the VGGT. Key strategies and innovations that contribute to gender equality in agriculture and land tenure in the context of the VGGT were presented. Showcased and discussed how land tenure can address different needs and priorities for both women and men.

Among primary steps for securing women’s land rights in conflict were:

  • Collection and analyzing sex disaggregated data on positive/negative  dynamics and data on women’s access to land
  • Ensuring women’s participation in peace negotiations, land commissions and conflict resolution mechanisms


Uganda case highlighted how women strengthened their land rights under customary tenure once 4000 Customary Ownership Certificates issued to both women and men.

LandPortal described how data worked as a crucial tool to support community demands so that they improve their position at the negotiation table and be recognized by institutional powers. Also, when women interact with data proactively, it allows them to hold their leaders accountable and promote transparency in decision making.
Cadasta showcased how its approach and technological innovations support gender equality in agriculture and land tenure; Highlighted that technology should be used to enhance project goals, not to detract from them.

Summary of key points

This side event brought together a range of experts who illustrated efforts ensuring that women and men can participate equally in relation to land, through both formal institutions and customary arrangements for land administration and management. In addition, there was an effort to highlight initiatives that eliminate the gender data gap on land rights. The panel discussion identified the bottlenecks and discussed a path forward to create an empowering environment in which women's tenure security is recognized as playing a major role in the eradication of poverty and the achievement of sustainable development. The discussion also demonstrated how disaggregated data on land and gender can empower women and girls and contribute to increased food security and nutrition.

Ownership depends on legal rights to overcome social and cultural constraints, so establishing rules and regulations while involving traditional leaders, training women as land managers and ensuring that written materials have been translated in the local languages are all keys to success.

The Land Portal emphasized that people should be encouraged to use data when it is made available to them in ways that are open, accessible and easier to understand. When applied properly, data can be instrumental in settling conflicts and misunderstandings.

Key take away messages

The VGGT are fundamental in advancing the agenda of gender equality. Empowering women through secure tenure can reduce vulnerability, stabilize societies and foster peace building.

Access to and control of data is imperative. Digital literacy must be built and must be easily comprehensible thereby increasing transparency and reinforcing accountability. There is a need of adapting project approaches to stakeholder digital literacy levels and integrating gender into project design.

We cannot neglect a possible conflict among the data collected by different entities (i.e. cases in which during a demarcation there are multiple claims on the same piece of land).

Collaboration among stakeholders at national, regional and global level can support the achievement of SDG targets, and can determine how land monitoring initiatives contribute to tracking progress towards these indicators. Leveraging partnerships between the UN, non-UN Organizations and national actors is essential and the VGGT helps to facilitate this dynamic.




CFS 46 Side Event: SE126 How the VGGT have changed rural women’s lives: Key strategies and innovations towards gender equality.

 

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