News in 2016

Women’s Land Rights Expert Group Meeting

27-29 November, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

Parksocieteit Marialust, Appledoorn where the Expert Group Meeting took place

Vice President Diane Dumashie attended the Expert Workshop on Women’s Land Rights on 27- 29th November 2016 in Apeldoorn, (Netherlands), organised by Oxfam Novib, Kadaster International and Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, in collaboration with the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Land Academy (LANDac) and the Gender Resource Facility (GRF).

The meeting was officially opened by Frits van der Wal, Focal Point Land Governance at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (who also remained for the entire 2 day deliberations) and a welcome speech by Kees de Zeeuw (Director) Kadaster International.  Attending were 20 experts representing many world continents, with a diverse and wide range of backgrounds including professionals, academia, activists, advocates and researchers.

The Dutch government has for many years acknowledged and supported the gender equality agenda.  The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), in its agenda for aid, trade, and investment states “Greater economic power for women helps boost prosperity, which makes it smart economics" (MFA, 2013).

This EGM is the first event on women’s land rights to begin to mobilise the energy, expertise and strategic thinking of key experts and practitioners. The meeting has emerged from  the Dutch Organising Committee of the Land Governance Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue (LG MSD).  During the preparations for the celebration of International Women’s Day, at the end of January 2016, the LG MSD sent out a call for inspiring practical examples of Dutch supported interventions that show how important and catalytic strengthening of land rights for women can be.

These stories are captured in a booklet (see PDF) and comprise examples of various ways in which organisations can assist to strengthen capacity development, documentation and joint catalytic action of women in their rightful claim to improved land governance.

At the launch of this booklet, it was announced that the stories of Kadaster, Oxfam Novib and Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation were considered outstanding by both the secretariat of the LG MSD Organising Committee and the Taskforce Women’s Rights and Gender Equality of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.   The three organisations were subsequently invited to organise an impactful event that will be geared towards accelerating joint action in strengthening women’s land rights.

The objectives of the meeting were twofold:

  • To identify the most promising experiences, ideas, and strategies to enhance and strengthen women’s land rights;
  • To develop road maps reflecting the participants’ visions and proposed actions on the best ways to enhance and strengthen women’s land rights, including which actors to involve, and participants’ commitment to taking identified actions further;

Together the experts agreed a collective vision: “a world in which gender equitable land rights, governance and practices from the foundation for inclusive and sustainable development”, and also agreed the goal: to call for reforms that will increase the proportion of women with secure land rights.

The rationale behind the initiative is that the potential for scaling up efforts to secure women’s land rights is not being fully exploited despite the fact that several global efforts to secure women’s land rights have been made by a wide range of development actors over the last decades.

Underpinning the importance of this initiative, Dorine Burmanje (Chair Executive Board Kadaster) supported the experts on day- two. In addition, Frits van der Wal announced that a fund will be awarded to the most promising activity emerging for the 2 days of deliberations.

The concluding output from the ideas discovered, key factors for success documented, and recognising that no one single bullet will solve all the problems, activities were agreed upon and incorporated into impactful strategies and together compiled into an action orientated declaration.

Dorine Burmanje (Chair Executive Board Kadaster)  addressing the EGM

Dr Diane Dumashie FRICS, Vice President FIG

22 December 2016