Sustainable Development Goals

Indicator 5.a.1 - (a) Percentage of people with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land (out of total agricultural population), by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rights-bearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure

This indicator is divided in two sub-indicators. Part (a) is an incidence measure. It measures how prevalent ownership or secure rights over agricultural land are in the reference population. Part (b) measures the share of women among owners or rights-bearers of agricultural land. Therefore it can be used to monitor the under-representation of women among the owners or holders of agricultural land. This is a de facto indicator which will measure progress towards SDG Target 5.a.

Target 5.a

Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws.

(a) Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land, by sex
and
(b) share of women among owners or rights-bearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure

Impact

Indicator 5.a.1 measures the extent of women’s disadvantages in ownership of and rights to agricultural land. Together with indicator 5.a.2, it provides a basis for policy measures aimed at securing equal opportunities and access to rights and resources.

Key results

Relatively fewer women than men have ownership and/or secure tenure rights over agricultural land

The existing data - still restricted to a few countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia - shows that both men and women involved in agricultural production lack ownership and/or secure tenure rights over agricultural land.

In most countries, less than 50 percent of men and women engaged in agriculture have ownership and/or secure tenure rights over agricultural land. Available evidence also shows that gender inequalities in access to ownership and/or secure land rights are pervasive: in 9 out of 10 countries assessed, relatively fewer women than men have ownership and/or secure tenure rights over agricultural land (Figure 1).

This does not necessarily mean that there are always more men landowners than women, as there may be a larger proportion of women engaged in agriculture than men in a country, as is often the case especially in developing countries. Indeed, there are more women landowners than men in three out of 10 countries (Figure 2). The relative share of women landowners exceeds 55 percent only in the case of Malawi. By contrast, the share of men among landowners is over 65 percent in five out of 10 countries.

That being said, in the few countries that have more than one data point, it is possible to observe a reduction of the gap between the percentage of men and the percentage of women with ownership and/or secure tenure rights over agricultural land.

Methodology

The methodology of this indicator is based on the UN Methodological Guidelines on the Production of Statistics on Asset Ownership from a Gender Perspective, which were developed over the past four years, in the context of the initiative Evidence and Data for Gender Equality (EDGE)

FAO is coordinating with the World Bank and World Habitat to ensure harmonization of the methodology with SDG indicator 1.4.2 (Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, with legally recognized documentation and who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and by type of tenure). In particular, the respective custodian agencies are working towards the development of a unique module which allow collecting data for both SDG 5.a.1 and SDG 1.4.2.

Moreover, FAO is in contact with UNICEF, the World Bank and the DHS Program to explore the possibilities of incorporating the module into the respective internationally sponsored surveys (MICS - Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, LSMS - Living Standards Measurement Study, DHS - Demographic and Health Survey).

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