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Women Land Rights Matter

                                   Women Land Rights Matter

        Oladosu Adenike with women on the farm during the organic fertile distibution 


Women make up more than half of the global population that depend on natural resource for livelihood.  Yet worldwide, only 14% of agricultural land owners are women. Over time, studies have shown that, achieving gender equality could help increase climate adaptation. But then, how can we restore our world when women land rights only account for 24% globally with restricted rights over the use and control of resource? We are being disadvantaged twice. If we want to save the world’s forest, then women’s land rights matters.  If it takes communities (women) with land rights to prevent at least 300 billion metric tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere by stopping deforestation of their lands, how much more will it take if all communities (women) are given the right to own land? While communities where women have a fragile landscape have the greatest environmental instability as seen in the Lake Chad - where there are greater chances of displacement from their livelihood. This shows that equality in land tenure play a key role in building resilience and carbon free world.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it says “land tenure is a key dimension in any discussion of land climate interactions. When women are given the access to land they become defenders. Women land rights is a climate smart agriculture as well as a carbon capturing technique I know. Moreso, this is a day of ecosystem restoration, if we must restore them all then women needs to play a central role. Women’s land right has a far and near reaching impact on food security, zero hunger, no poverty, reduced gender based violence and as well in tackling climate change which in itself is an empowerment mechanism for women and their children. This I knew during one of our projects execution at I Lead Climate Action Initiative that was carried out to give women access to organic fertile for expansion of their production from UNDP –Nigeria grant support.

In tackling climate change, women’s land rights are indispensable. Research shows that, women with lack of secure rights to land are associated with lack of access to credit, agricultural programming. This slows women bargaining power. These factors only could affect the “three pillars” of agriculture which includes; food production, availability and accessibility. Now our dry-lands are expanding hence women needs to fill the vacuum. Therefore, stronger land rights for women can mean better investment in climate smart agriculture.

Oladosu Adenike ([email protected]) is an ecofeminist and eco-reporter.

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