Land Matters was a month-long global conversation on Devex during September 2013. While this particular campaign to raise awareness about land rights for global development has since come to a conclusion, the importance of land remains a key issue for all development practitioners working toward a more sustainable future.

Devex will continue to update this website periodically, but in order to ensure you stay in the know about everything that is impacting global development, sign-up for Newswire to receive a comprehensive daily look at breaking news, analysis and opinion directly to your inbox.

for women

Most smallholder farmers in the developing world are women. They offer knowledge of the land they till and entrepreneurial skills to increase the productivity, crop diversity and value of their plots. Yet many women don’t own their land. Official titles and clear rights – in cities and rural areas – can help women play a greater role in the way land is managed, developed, marketed and passed on to future generations.

Why women should own their land

Why women should own their land

When women own the land they till, families tend to be better fed, better educated and healthier. Here’s why land matters for women – and what the international community can do to help.

4 traits the world’s poorest share, and what that tells us about addressing hunger=

4 traits the world’s poorest share, and what that tells us about addressing hunger

To reduce hunger and malnutrition, we must afford land rights, above all, to poor, rural women, writes Landesa’s Elisa Scalise in this guest commentary.

Why we should care about women's right to land

Why we should care about women's right to land

Why should the world care about women’s right to land? The answer is actually very simple, writes Agnes Quisumbing, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute.

From rhetoric to action: Reaping gains through enhanced women's land and property rights

From rhetoric to action: Reaping gains through enhanced women's land and property rights

In Kenya, a new Constitution and several policy reforms are strengthening women's right to own land and other property. But much remains to be done, writes Patricia Kameri-Mbote in this guest commentary.

Mapping the Future of Land Rights for Global Development

Mapping the Future of Land Rights for Global Development

Land matters for sustainable economies, livelihoods, human rights, and the environment- the development community cannot afford for land to be a trend. Expert panelists from DAI, Chemonics International, USAID, and Omidyar Network sat down with Devex to discuss what land rights mean for the future of global development.

Must reads

Little by little, the egg begins to walk

In Ethiopia, land registration and the reform of the family code may have mutually reinforcing effects on women’s rights and welfare, Neha Kumar and Agnes R. Quisumbing conclude in a research paper for the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Women's evolving land rights in Ghana

While statutory law in Ghana grants women similar land rights to men, in much of the country, these rights are governed by customary institutions that assign greater control over land to men. But women's rights to land they cultivate is changing. Here's how.

Toolkit for integrating gender-related issues in land policy and administration projects

From the World Bank, a checklist of actions to successfully integrate gender issues in land policy and administration projects, in all of the four project stages: identification, design and preparation, appraisal, and implementation, supervision and completion.

Botswana women win landmark right to inherit under customary law

This article tells the story of an 80-year-old woman from Botswana who won a court battle to keep her ancestral home. The landmark ruling rejected customary land rights that normally favor male heirs.

Connecting the dots between girls' education and land rights

This short video draws a link between increased land rights for women and an increase in income that can enable girls in the family to stay in school.

Gender equality means food security for Asia-Pacific

Knocking down gender barriers like land ownership and access to credit is key to ensuring food security in Asia-Pacific, according to a report from the Asian Development Bank. How so? Devex asked Imrana Jajal, ADB's senior social development specialist on gender.

Defending a woman's right to land and property

See how the USAID Tajikistan Land Reform project is helping tens of thousands of women on the border of Afghanistan claim rights to land and secure a better future.

Women and land rights: Legal barriers impede women’s access to resources

A woman’s ability to own, inherit and control land and property is absolutely vital to her ability to access resources and participate in the economy. The Thomson Reuters Foundation and the World Bank partnered to better understand legal frameworks that affect women’s ability to access resources, with a particular focus on the legal and cultural barriers to women’s secure land rights.

Why property matters

The high-level draft post-2015 development agenda highlights the importance of secure property rights. In an exclusive opinion for Devex, Karol Boudreaux from the Omidyar Network explains why these rights matter and must be defended to empower the poor, especially in Africa.

Women's right to inherit land in India

Ashok Sircar, India program director at Landesa, analyzes the obstacles preventing Indian women from exercising their right to inherit land, and discusses potential policy solutions.

Gender impacts of joint land titles in Ethiopia

In 1998, the Ethiopian government initiated the largest low-cost land certification program at the time in sub-Saharan Africa. Much of the land was registered exclusively in the name of the head of household, traditionally male. What has happened since joint titling projects began to include women's names on the land deed?

Women's land rights: A ripple effect

FACT: Women produce 43% of the food in developing countries but own less than 10% of the land. This 19-minute documentary examines why land matters for women and young girls in Ethiopia and Kenya.

In one Kenyan town, it’s no longer just ‘old wise men’

How USAID's Kenya Justice Project helps village elders support and enforce women’s rights to land and to have a say in how forest resources are governed.

Land Matters for Women is presented by


Join the conversation

Tweet to us why Landmatters

#landmatters because…

Cover photo by: USAID’s Nepal Transition Initiative project, implemented by Chemonics International