News in 2023

Reflections on UN CSW67

7 March, 2023, New York City, US

Claire Buxton visited the UN Compound in New York to participate in a session on Innovation and Digital Technology  -  A facilitator to Secure Land Tenure and Natural Resources for All organised by S4HL (Stand for Her Land) during the Commission of the Status of Women CSW67.
Claire represented FIG Commission 7 Working Group on Women’s Access to Land with S4HL

Up until last week, I was of the impression that if a girl, young woman, or woman (including those who identify as such) has someone who believes in them, then they can achieve their dreams. With only a flying visit to CSW67, I've learnt from the ‘horse’s mouth’ that it is naive to think this when a system of power and privilege is up against you.

Large numbers of widows are disinherited from their lands, women are subjected to online gender-based violence more and more, countries like Tuvalu are ‘not drowning, but fighting’ to create a digital twin of their ancestral lands before/as they are forced to move as the sea rises and cyclones consume them.

The Kenyan government aims to reach 20% of all land being registered in the name of women by this year, 2023. As a woman from Aotearoa New Zealand where most properties are held in joint ownership or where the numbers are close to 17% sole female ownership versus 19% male ownership, this seemed an achievable goal. Looking at the World Bank statistics from 2021 though, there was about 7% of women who own land alone between the ages of 15-49 in Kenya ( They are a fair way off and during this event, admitted they need help and have reached out to partners. 

I joined thousands of representatives from around our globe at the Commission on the Status of Women 67 at UN HQ in New York. The experience was humbling, moving, and educational. I’ll be writing a more detailed article somewhere shortly, with the help of my FIG colleagues because there is too much to share in a LinkedIn post. But here goes an attempted summary:

As a representative of FIG, I personally shared some concrete ideas on how surveyors are key and will continue to be key as we embrace innovations and digital technology to advance gender equality and ensuring that secure women land rights and properties is central to the work we do towards a sustainable world.

Other panelists representing views from the Chief Registrar of Kenya, a PhD from UN Women, South Sudan and IGAD, IFAD, Landesa, Stand For Her Land, and a previous Women in Peace Coordinator from Guatamala. Other countries represented in the room were Tanzania, Mexico, Norway, US, and others I am certain

  • Women (especially marginalised rural women) need to be at the table 
  • Sex disaggregated data is a basic necessity!
  • Digitalisation is part of the seismic shift coming our way but the divide can grow without responsible measures in place
  • Safe, affordable, and inclusive technology is required
  • Recognise culture, religion, and custom in practices
  • Large-scale land investments (grabbing) remain a great threat
  • Allies are needed! Its all well and good speaking in a room of feminists however, when we leave the room, a mindset shift happens. We need allies and we need the tools to speak with those who are not yet feminists
  • Solution examples from Guatemala were a group of 15 Indigenous leaders setting up a grassroots movement and also women making use of GNSS/GPS for mapping municipal lands for claiming urban food rights and using drones for projecting flood risks as well as mapping land rights


Claire Buxton
March 2023