Gender and Land Rights Database


Customary norms, religious beliefs and social practices that influence gender-differentiated land rights

In rural areas, customary law is applied, although with considerable variations across regions and groups.

Most Muslim groups, which are concentrated in the Southern part of the country, tend to exclude women from the administration of the property. The management of family land is under men’s control, and women have little or no independent land ownership (11). In some Muslim groups, women’s mobility outside the home is also constrained (3).

However, many ethnic groups from the north and the centre do not discriminate against women. Both men and women can hold land, as it happens among the Ilocano population, and have exclusive management rights over their individual property.

Among the Pangasinense, the husband is considered the administrator of the family property; however, he must get the consent of the wife for land transfers (11).

Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography