Sustainable Development Goals

Indicator 5.a.2 - Proportion of countries where the legal framework (including customary law) guarantees women’s equal rights to land ownership and/or control

The indicator collects all existing national policy objectives, draft provisions, legal provisions and implementing legislation that reflect good practices in guaranteeing women’s equal rights to land ownership and/or control. This is a de jure 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.

Level of guarantees of women's equal rights to land ownership and/or control in the national legal framework for selected countries, 2020 (1=lowest, 6=highest)


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

Key results

Indicator 5.a.2 monitors reforms in the legal and policy framework that support women’s equal rights to economic resources, ownership and control over land, with a focus on the adoption of legal reforms to promote women’s land rights.

It builds on the FAO’s Legal Assessment Tool (LAT) for gender-equitable land tenure. The LAT involves assessing the extent to which a country’s policy and legal framework support gender equitable land tenure arrangements, by testing that framework against thirty indicators drawn from international consensus and internationally accepted good practice. An interactive map based on the Country Assessments is available online. 

As indicator 5.a.2 is not directly measurable, six proxies have been identified to assess it.

  • Proxy A: Is the joint registration of land compulsory or encouraged through economic incentives?
  • Proxy B: Does the legal and policy framework require spousal consent for land transactions?
  • Proxy C: Does the legal and policy framework support women’s and girls’ equal inheritance rights?
  • Proxy D: Does the legal and policy framework provide for the allocation of financial resources to increase women’s ownership and control over land?
  • Proxy E: In legal systems that recognise customary land tenure, does the legal and policy framework explicitly protect the land rights of women?
  • Proxy F: Does the legal and policy framework mandate women’s participation in land management and administration institutions?

These proxies help to tackle some of the principal constraints women face in ensuring the protection and security of their land rights, and in particular some of the challenges that arise for pervasive gender bias. Collectively, they will track progress on provisions based in good practices or innovative measures included in national legal frameworks to enable de facto gender parity in ownership and control over land. 


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