In Tirana, Albania: an international conference on women’s access to land

Women's land rights are vital to every country’s development. Yet, those rights are routinely violated, denied, or simply not enforced.


“Empowering women through access to land” was the focus of an international conference held earlier this month in Tirana, Albania, organized by FAO together with GIZ on behalf of the Government of Germany.

In many countries in the Western Balkans, women have lower access to land than their male peers, and are often restricted to so-called “secondary land rights.” This means they have land rights only via male family members. In the case of divorce, widowhood or her husband’s migration, a woman risks losing her entitlements. Without clear ownership rights, women may be unable to sell or lease land, or use land as collateral for obtaining credit.

“The obstacles that prevent rural women from effectively enjoying land rights are numerous and complex,” said Marcela Villarreal, Director of FAO’s Office of Partnerships, Advocacy and Capacity Development Division. “They range from inadequate legal standards and weak enforcement, to cultural barriers.”

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