Men and women in agriculture: closing the gap


Land is the most important household asset for households that depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Access to land is a basic requirement for farming and control over land is synonymous with wealth, status and power in many areas.

The evidence illustrating gender inequalities in access to land is overwhelming. Women across all developing regions are consistently less likely to own or operate land; they are less likely to have access to rented land, and the land they do have access to is often of poorer quality and in smaller plots.

Strengthening women’s access to, and control over, land is an important means of raising their status and influence within households and communities. Improving women’s access to land and security of tenure has direct impacts on farm productivity, and can also have far-reaching implications for improving household welfare.

Policy recommendations

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Key facts

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  1. Ikdahl, I. 2008. “Go home and clear the conflict”: human rights perspectives on gender and land in Tanzania. In B. Englert & E. Daley, eds. Women’s land rights and privatization in Eastern Africa, pp. 40–60. Woodbridge, UK, James Currey; Brown, J. 2003. Rural women’s land rights in Java, Indonesia: strengthened by family law, but weakened by land registration. Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal, 12(3): 631–651.
SOFA 2010-2011


FAO Gender Programme
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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