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 2? Indicator 2 measures the share of female agricultural landowners out of total landowners (2.F) and the share of male agricultural landowners out of total landowners (2.M). The indicator is created as follows:

                                                                                   

The agricultural landowner is defined as the legal owner of the agricultural land; however, definitions of ownership vary across countries and surveys.  The indicator may not necessarily reflect documented ownership certified by a legal document. Especially in places where much of the land is not formally titled or documented, surveys often simply ask whether someone in the household owns the land, and if so, who owns it.   In addition to officially titled ownership, it may also include proxies, such as the right to use, sell or bequeath the land, or the right to use it as collateral. This enables the indicator to capture different aspects of the “bundle of rights” related to land, rather than land ownership in the strictest sense of the term. An individual is defined as a landowner whether they own land solely (they are the only owner of a plot of land) or jointly with someone inside or outside the household.  Thus, households may have multiple landowners.  In addition, households may own multiple plots of land with different owners identified for each plot.

 

Advantages and challenges. Indicator 2 tells us what proportion of landowners are women and what proportion are men. Because multiple owners can be identified within a household, it better reflects individual level land rights than Indicator 1. An increase in the percentage of women owning land indicates that more women relative to men obtain rights to this key resource for rural livelihoods. There are challenges with collecting data on land ownership that affect this indicator.  One is the reliability of people’s response about whether they are owners.  One approach is to confirm documented ownership with the enumerator requesting to see the documents, but this is difficult to implement if for instance these documents may not be available at the time when the survey is conducted, or don’t exist.  In addition, there is some evidence that the responses about land ownership will differ, depending on who within the household is interviewed. Different country definitions of ownership and data collection years also pose a challenge for cross-country comparability of the indicator. Hence, this caveat should be kept in mind when interpreting the data above.


Data sources. The data used to construct Indicator 2 typically come from large-scale household surveys in which questions on landownership for individual household members are included in an agricultural module, making it possible to calculate total agricultural landowners by sex.  A key source of this data is the Living Standard Measurement Study (LSMS) surveys, and particularly the LSMS-ISA (LSMS-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture), and other similar household surveys. The indicator is nationally representative insofar as the household survey data are nationally representative. Data displayed in the database is taken from household surveys analysed in academic papers. Links to household survey sources and papers below.


Ownership - notes

  1. Documented ownership is when the respondent reports that some type of ownership documents exist for the land. In most surveys, however, these documents are not verified. 
  2. Reported ownership is when the survey respondent identifies him-/herself or someone else in household as an owner of land. Ownership documents may or may not exist for this type of ownership and fully relies on the respondents own report of ownership.
  3. Certified land use rights means ownership is defined through the respondent’s name on a Land Use Certificate (LCU). An LCU is not an ownership document per se, but it grants long-term user rights, typically including rights to sell, bequeath, rent or mortgage the land. 
  4. Right to sell/use as collateral means ownership is defined through the ability to sell the land or use it as collateral. This is used as a proxy for ownership where direct ownership questions were not asked in the surveys.


Ownership - notes

  1. Documented ownership is when the respondent reports that some type of ownership documents exist for the land. In most surveys, however, these documents are not verified. 
  2. Reported ownership is when the survey respondent identifies him-/herself or someone else in household as an owner of land. Ownership documents may or may not exist for this type of ownership and fully relies on the respondents own report of ownership.
  3. Certified land use rights means ownership is defined through the respondent’s name on a Land Use Certificate (LCU). An LCU is not an ownership document per se, but it grants long-term user rights, typically including rights to sell, bequeath, rent or mortgage the land. 
  4. Right to sell/use as collateral means ownership is defined through the ability to sell the land or use it as collateral. This is used as a proxy for ownership where direct ownership questions were not asked in the surveys.

For more details on individual country definitions, please refer to sources as quoted in the table above.

Links