When women have stronger rights to land and resources, families and communities prosper. The evidence is there – when women have secure rights to land and resources, agricultural productivity, food security, nutrition, health, education, care for the environment all increase.
However, while the evidence is out there, people need access to laws, resources, and information to make stronger land and resource rights a reality for women. In many countries, land rights for women do exist in laws, but those laws are not readily available.
Women and men lack access to not just laws but to legal information, and tools and strategies for implementing and enforcing laws. In places where land laws may be available, family laws, inheritance laws, and information describing customary practices are largely absent.
Research has shown that when women have rights to land and natural resources:
- women have better food security;
- family nutrition and health improve;
- women become less vulnerable to HIV/AIDS;
- women may be less likely to be victims of domestic violence;
- children are more likely to receive an education and stay in school longer; and
- women’s participation in household decision-making increases.
LandWise: A Woman and Land Library was launched in July 2013 to address this issue. LandWise not only gives people access to up-to-date laws in their countries but allows users to gain a comparative perspective of how different countries and legal systems address certain fundamental rights and obligations.
Since its launch, Landwise has had 50,672 visits by 42,017 unique visitors, with a total of 87,995 page views from visitors all over the world.
In addition to collecting laws and resources from around the world, the developers of the database have developed practitioner guides to help users navigate the wild world of legal research.The guides help researchers navigate women’s land rights issues using the policies and laws compiled on the site.
Laws, regulations, court opinions, and other sources of legal authority are constantly changing, so providing accurate up-to-date materials is a challenging and crucial task.
To keep LandWise a vibrant and current source of information, ongoing funding is needed. This will cover ongoing maintenance costs to keep resources up to date, hosting costs to ensure the site stays up and accessible, and costs to move the site to a more permanent home.
The campaign’s goal is $10,000 and ends in 27 days.
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