CBI Under Commitment 4

Photo: Michael Benanav

Photo: Michael Benanav


CBI 4: Equal Land Rights for Women


Organisations from 10 Countries in the LAC Region Join Forces to Promote Women’s Land Rights

In Latin America and the Caribbean 58 million women live in rural areas, but they make up fewer than 20% of landowners. Legal frameworks in the region have changed in recent years in order to formally recognise women’s rights, but changes in policy have not always led to changes in practices. In fact, in some countries the challenges for women land and environment defenders have got worse.

The CBI Mujer Rural y Derecho a la Tierra started with four countries and has been successfully scaled up to 10. It brings together 20 organisations to improve rural women’s access to land and guarantee their participation in decision-making processes that affect them.


  • A solid network of ILC members and allies in South and Central America.

  • A national report and plan for each NES platform in the region to influence policy on women’s land rights.


African Union Endorses Pan African Women’s Charter of Rights

Some 70% of Africa's women live in rural areas, where extreme poverty is the norm and smallholders’ access to land is diminishing. Land and water grabbing have led to human rights violations and the forced displacement of millions of people across the continent, with significant impacts on food and nutrition security.

Member states of the African Union have formally adopted continental frameworks safeguarding the land rights of rural women, but this formal recognition has not prevented their dispossession. The Kilimanjaro Initiative, supported by ILC through CBI 4, is a grassroots initiative led by women to hold African leaders accountable for keeping their commitments and protecting women’s right to land.

It brings together 17 ILC members from 11 countries, in partnership with organisations beyond ILC’s membership. The initiative mobilised 500 rural women from 22 African countries, culminating in October 2016 when 29 representatives climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. On their descent they handed over a Charter of Demands formulated by rural women to a representative of the AU, which is now the basis for follow-up action by the CBI.


  • The CBI united members and allies across the continent to speak with a single voice on women’s land rights, including through the launch of a digital advocacy campaign with multimedia materials.

  • The Ninth Gender Pre-Summit at the AU Summit held in Addis Abba in January 2017 officially endorsed the Charter of Demands.


Members join forces to defend Women’s Rights to Land in Asia

Despite their traditional role as farmers and animal breeders, women in Asia often lack resources and opportunities such as secure land tenure and access to agricultural support services. The situation of indigenous women is even worse, due to land grabbing and socio-economic marginalisation. Policies have been changing in response to pressures from local land reform movements and international organisations but practices have not changed, and conservative social norms often determine access to land in favour of men.

The CBI includes 14 ILC members in five countries. It focuses on knowledge exchange, capacity building, and awareness raising, reaching over 500 rural and indigenous women, grassroots activists, and farmers in the region.


  • Documentation and systematisation of knowledge on women’s land rights and its wider availability through a repository for knowledge and information, the “She Land” web portal.

Global Achievements under CBI 4

  • Joint advocacy to build broad support for the retention of SDG indicator 5.a.2 on women’s equal rights to land ownership.

  • Draft UN declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas focuses strongly on women’s land rights, due to the participation of ILC members in negotiations on the text.

  • Members in Africa, Asia, and Latin America better are connected and are jointly collecting data and building capacities on women’s land rights.

  • Enhanced attention to women’s land rights in 10 NES processes, including through alternative reports.

  • Joint advocacy, for instance on International Day of Rural Women and to draw attention to the gender dimensions of securing the commons.