Women’s rights from the ground up

A strategic approach to securing women’s land rights

Publication date: 25 June 2020
Authors: Eileen Wakesho, Shona Hawkes

Tackling gender bias, whether this bias is intended or unintended, requires all of us to put women front and center in our work on land and natural resource issues. It requires deliberate efforts to acknowledge existing biases and a commitment to addressing them. Invisible gender bias can inform everything from who gets included in community consultations on land, to how laws are written and implemented. It can also impact how we work—from how we decide what issues and activities to focus on, to the tools we use to support and strengthen local leadership.

“Women’s rights from the ground up” includes a high-level vision of how we see change occurring and the tools we can use to secure women’s land rights. It also draws on discussions with Oxfam staff and partners to help build a stronger, shared narrative on women’s rights and gender justice in our land and natural resources work. Throughout the document, you will find examples and analysis on issues that we commonly face in the 30 countries where Oxfam works on land rights.

“Women’s rights from the ground up” also offers examples and guiding questions to help the reader better understand why everyone needs to have clear and defined strategies to secure women’s rights in their land and natural resources work. Rather than focusing on global targets and priorities, this document aims to be a tool to help guide country teams and partners to develop their own strategy on women’s land rights for their context.