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Gender-equitable land tool development in West Africa

Addressing women and men’s unequal land tenure rights is one of the most pressing issues in development in West Africa, particularly in the region’s rapidly changing demographic, social and ecological contexts and with increasing competition for land and natural resources. Yet technical tools for achieving inclusive and equitable land governance always operate within complex social and family situations. These social dimensions need to be at the forefront of analysis and debate, and should be the starting point for building solutions. This paper reviews innovations in Ghana and Mali that have attempted to develop gender sensitive ‘land tools’ that seek ways to improve women’s access to land.

This briefing has been produced under IIED’s Legal tools for citizen empowerment project.

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Land is life for millions of people across rural Africa. It is central for ensuring they have enough food to eat. Even if they are involved in other trades, land is an essential safety net for the rural poor during times of economic instability and helps define cultures and identities.

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Securing land rights in West Africa