Gender and Land Rights Database

On this page, you will find a scroll-down list of statistics indicators and their definitions in the box below. The land-related statistics are disaggregated by gender and include specific data on land and agricultural ownership by men and women. The data is shown in the interactive map and are also available in graph and table formats.


Gender and Land Statistics

What is Indicator 1? Indicator 1 measures the percentage of female agricultural holders out of total agricultural holders (1.F), and the percentage of male agricultural holders out of total agricultural holders (1.M). It is an indicator of management of agricultural holdings. The indicator is created as follows:




The agricultural holder is the civil or juridical person who makes the major decisions regarding resource use and exercises management control over the agricultural holding. The agricultural holder has technical and economic responsibility for the holding. An agricultural holding is an economic unit of agricultural production under single management comprising all livestock kept and all land used wholly or partly for agricultural production purposes, without regard to title, legal form, or size. The data is collected through national agricultural censuses. More detailed definitions can be found on the Agricultural Census webpage, see below links. Indicator 1 illustrates the management of agricultural holdings by sex and shows the extent to which women and men have the management responsibility of agricultural production resources. The holder may also be the owner of the holding but not necessarily so. While agricultural holdings typically are land holdings, they may also comprise other agricultural production resources, and in some cases only non-land resources.


Advantages and challenges. This indicator is by far the most prevalent of the currently available gender and land indicators and is easy to extract from national agricultural censuses. It is created under common guidelines for agricultural censuses and is as such broadly comparable across countries. However, the indicator has a number of challenges. Firstly, the indicator is measured at the holding level and hence does not capture management within the holding. A holding may consist of several plots of land, with different household members responsible for different plots, but this is generally not captured in the indicator, as typically only one holder is identified per holding. As such, it tends to underestimate the management role of household members other than that of the person designated as the official holder. For example, married women often hold some responsibility for the family farm or manage some plots within the holding, but their husbands will typically be identified as the head of the household and the single holder. In this situation, married women’s shares of management responsibility will not be reported in the indicator. Secondly, some countries adapt a threshold for minimum size of the holdings included in the census (often due to implementation constraints), leaving out holdings that fall below a certain value. If women are more likely to manage agricultural holdings below the threshold, this could potentially reduce the percentage of female agricultural holders captured by the agricultural census.


Data sources. The data mainly come from agricultural censuses, which are typically undertaken by National Statistical Offices and/or Ministries of Agriculture. Agricultural censuses are undertaken approximately every 10 years. Data from European countries are harvested from Eurostat and are also based on national agricultural censuses.


World Programme for the Census of Agriculture