Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
04-12: Legal & Practical Barriers to Gender Neutral Land Ownership
Tuesday, 20/Mar/2018:
3:45pm - 5:15pm

Session Chair: Patricia K. Mbote, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Location: MC C1-200


Women, Business and the Law 2018: data that matters for women's property rights

Nayda Almodóvar-Reteguis

The World Bank, United States of America

Women Business and the Law provides open access data identifying critical legal gender differences impacting women’s economic empowerment . Covering 189 economies, it is a simple and timesaving resource for World Bank Group practitioners, policy makers and civil society networks interested in finding out where the bottlenecks relating to property rights impacting women’s inclusion and empowerment may lie. Property rights are a focus of the project analyzing linkages with underlying legislation such as family, inheritance laws and land laws and impacts on areas such as women’s ability to access credit. A new land module has been added in the 2017-2018 research cycle, to look at what state incentives exist to increase women’s access to property by individually or jointly titling their land and housing. We also examine the legal requirement of including women as co-owners in documents and issues around spousal consent when selling or buying immovable property.


A Comparative Analysis of Women's Legal Rights to Land Worldwide

Camilla Schloss

Public Prosecutor's Office of Berlin, Germany

The aim of this paper is to put each country’s regulations of women’s marital property into a global context and to understand the historical, religious and political foundations of the current property legislations worldwide with regards to married women’s ownership. The equal distribution of land ownership can be considerably stimulated or hindered by laws that promote or deny women’s equal rights to property. The marital property regime is one of the main bases of property ownership for women. By comparing the different legal marital regimes, this paper provides relevant information to foster the discourse on how to secure women’s land rights. In this way, it contributes to a nuanced understanding of the interconnectivity of national land governance systems worldwide from a gender perspective. Among other sources, it draws on the published data of the World Bank Group’s project Women, Business and the Law.


Achieving SDG Indicator 5.a.2 in the Western Balkans: Partnerships for Gender Equality in Land Ownership and Control

Margret Vidar1, Adela Llatja2, Naomi Kenney1, Rumyana Tonchovska1, Margreet Goelema2


Legal framework assessments in the Western Balkans have revealed that while some gaps could be addressed through regulatory reform and the adoption of by-laws, notaries and registration offices have an important role to play in ensuring that the law is implemented and that women’s interests in land are registered and secure. The current phase of an ongoing collaboration between FAO, GIZ and IUNL is focused on developing guidelines for notaries and registration offices, pinpointing steps in their service provision where the integration of gender considerations is of critical importance to ensure that all rights holders – men and women – are correctly identified, and their rights recorded and protected.

The paper provides an overview of the current collaboration in the context of implementing the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests, as well as the achievement of SDG indicator 5.a.2 in the sub-region.


Transformative reparations: A mean identify, eliminate and correct preexisting structural inequality on women's access to land

Adriana Catalina Ortiz Serrano, Adriana Catalina Ortiz Serrano

Independant, United States of America

Colombia’s legal order prescribes equality between men and women. In rural areas, however, the persistence of social and cultural practices that discriminate on the basis of gender prevail. This has affected women’s access to land ownership, and now that Colombia is on the verge of breaking from decades of conflict it has adopted a series of measures reflective of transitional justice norms. One of these: the “Victims Law”, establishes a special process for land restitution. This law establishes several measures that guarantee women’s right to rural property. However, women in rural areas have not sufficiently benefitted. This paper argues that these barriers could be overcome if Colombia adopted specific, transformative reparation measures aimed at identifying, eliminating, and correcting preexisting structural inequality on women’s access to land and suggests a set of defined transformative reparation measures to be adopted by judges in cases when the land restitution claimant is a woman.

04-12-Ortiz Serrano-928.docx

Redesigning Procedures to Encourage Legal Recognition of Informal Relations to Property: The Case of “Informal Inheritance” in Kosovo’s Intergenerational Context

Gent Salihu

USAID Property Rights Program, Tetra Tech

This paper examines “informal inheritance” cases when de facto owners did not initiate formal inheritance proceedings. When initiation of inheritance proceedings is delayed, the large number of claimants spanning several generations of heirs, many of whom live outside of Kosovo, creates further difficulties to formalize possession of property. The resulting discrepancy between cadastral records and informal ownership contributes to tenure insecurity. The USAID Property Rights Program assisted the Government in amending the laws on inheritance, notaries, and uncontested procedure to provide an efficient mechanism to initiate inheritance claims, and expedite inheritance proceedings initiated many years after the death of the right holder. The legislation also introduces due process safeguards to protect the rights of women and children. This paper analyzes factors that exacerbated the discrepancy between cadastral records and informal ownership and, subsequently, examines recent legislation introduced to expedite recognition of rights that may then be registered in the cadastre.