The SDG gender equality agenda and the distribution of land: Research challenges

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Virginia Tech

Among the advances in the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda is that the goal to achieve gender equality and empower women now has nine specific targets. These cover many of the root causes of gender inequality, including women’s unequal access to economic resources. This presentation focuses on women’s ownership and control over land in Africa, Asia and Latin America and why its distribution remains a pressing development concern. Moreover, the lack of data on women’s land ownership until recently has stymied research on a number of critical questions, for example, the relationship between land ownership and agricultural decision-making and whether it makes a difference if women own land individually or jointly with their spouse. Similarly, whether land ownership or off-farm employment contribute more to enhance women’s intra-household bargaining power and better outcomes for women and children. The SDG gender equality indicators on land provide a timely opportunity to advance feminist research, but require a strong lobbying effort to assure compliance.