Sustainable Development Goals

Indicator 1.4.2 - Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, (a) with legally recognized documentation, and (b) who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and type of tenure

Indicator 1.4.2 measures the results of policies that aim to strengthen tenure security for all, including women and other vulnerable groups.

Custodian agency: UN-Habitat and World Bank

Contributing agency: FAO

Target 1.4

By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.

Proportion of people with legally recognized documentation of their rights to land, by sex (percent) (most recent year available)


Land is a key asset for poverty reduction. However, systemic discrimination has tended to reproduce prevailing inequalities in land access, ownership and control between men and women, and continues to do so. The governance of tenure is therefore a crucial element in determining if and how people and communities acquire rights to use and control land and natural resources.

Key results

Indicator 1.4.2 measures disparities in tenure security among the adult population, disaggregated by sex and type of tenure, assessed based on “legally recognized documentation” and “perception of tenure security”. Together, these two subindicators determine the prevalence of secure tenure rights to land in a population.

Sex-disaggregated data regarding tenure rights to land are available for 33 countries, but only for the subindicator that measures legally documented tenure rights to land; data regarding the share of people who perceive their rights to be secure (available for 22 countries) are not yet available on a sex-disaggregated basis.

The available data suggest that the proportion of women with legally recognized documentation of their land tenure rights is significantly below the average for the adult population in most surveyed countries, with the exception of Malawi, Rwanda, Togo, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. This finding corroborates the figures for SDG Indicators 5.a.1 (which deals more specifically with agricultural land, and provides a measure of the share of women among agricultural land owners) and 5.a.2 (which captures the strength of legal frameworks guaranteeing women’s and girls’ equal rights to land ownership and/or control).

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