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05-05: Can Legal Provisions Help Increase Gender Equality?
The Role of Legal Professions in Addressing Gender Equality in Land Ownership, Cases from the Office a Public Notary in Albania
1Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Albania; 2Public Notary
This article presents the role of legal professions addressing SDG Goal 5, target 5.a: “undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance, and natural resources, in accordance with national laws”.
Women and girls’ access to economic recourses such as land depends on the legal framework and the way it is implemented. This paper will show that ownership of women and girls of land depends among others and especially upon drafting of the contract by legal professionals (in this case notaries), in order to ensure that their rights as co-owners, owners or heirs (even in cases when they are presumed) does not perish and disappear. For that reason, this paper will illustrate some authentic real life cases from a notary in Albania, to demonstrate how women are excluded from the right to ownership or co-ownership of real estate.
Even when laws and regulations are in place, the case of Albania demonstrates that custom and tradition rule the life of individuals and the work of public officials. In this paper cases from the diary of a notary will be presented, where women lost their property.
Gender Equality and Women's Rights: The Essential Role of the Notaire in Implementing and Diffusing the De Jure Law
1International Union of Notaries; 2Sherbrooke University
Once de jure laws are adopted, the challenge for states lies in ensuring that the people, particularly those targeted by the rules of non-discrimination, can benefit from them. How can the state reach these people, inform them, provide legal services to them and ensure uniform and impartial application of the de jure law on the entire territory and to the entire population? In reaching these goals the civil law notaires can make a huge difference.
As a legal professional, the notaires must apply the de jure law and thereby meet its requirements; they are also subject to the highest standards of impartiality, ethics and professional conduct. The notaire represents all parties to a real estate or other legal transaction.
Among their legal obligations, the notaires must check the status and ability of all parties to the transaction and obtain their free and informed consent. They will not hesitate to meet in private with a party in order to ensure that the expressed consent is not given under duress or due to that person’s ignorance of his or her rights.
Land and Gender in the Western Balkans: Understanding Customs and People’s Lives to Achieve the SDGs
1FAO, Italy; 2Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany
The article presents a joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) (on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)) GmbH initiative to integrate the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security principles on gender equality and help countries develop capacity to collect data, monitor and report progress on the SDG Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. FAO is the custodian institution of the land related indicators under goal 5, including indicator 5.a.2 on gender-equitable legal frameworks.
The article presents the results from testing the methodology for monitoring and reporting on the SDG indicator 5.a.2 in the Western Balkans countries using FAO’s Legal Assessment Tool for gender-equitable land tenure and the cross regional support to countries from other regions to learn from the experience of the Western Balkans countries.
Women’s Rights To Land And Property In Kenya
While the law reforms in Kenya provides for formal equality, there is need for substantive equality for women as a sustainable way of improving women’s enjoyment of their rights. While women’s rights to land and property are protected under the Constitution of Kenya (2010) and various national legislations, in practice, women remain disadvantaged. The main restriction is customary law and practices, which prohibit women from owning or inheriting land and other forms of property. These customary laws and practices are enhanced by stereotypical practices and socialization of women in believing they are not meant to own or inherit land or any other property. Customary practices in Kenya generally grant women secondary rights to land, namely through their relationships to a male relative, and women are rarely able to inherit land in their own right. In addition, women face serious obstacles in claiming their property rights either because they are unaware of their rights or they are unable to lay claim to this right.
In addition there are legal gaps that exist, for example, the Government of Kenya should clearly demonstrate good will to: support women rights and repeal any sections of enabling laws that do not comply with the Constitution
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Conference: Land and Poverty 2017
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