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Session Chair: Kerstin Nolte, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany
Winners or losers: a gender analysis of the economic and social impact of corporate large-scale land acquisition on rural women in Cameroon
Lotsmart Fonjong1, Lucy Fonjong2, Hellen Kasilla3
1University of Buea, Cameroon; 2University of Yaounde I, Cameroon; 3Islamic Relief Worldwide, Kenya
Cameroon like most sub-Saharan Africa has witnessed increase in large-scale land acquisition (LSLA) by local and foreign investors requesting huge hectares of land for investments. The underlying assumption is that LSLA is a win-win undertaking for investors and host countries/communities. Foreign investors are seen as catalysts of development whose capital will put ‘unused land’ into production and modernize agriculture, leading to growth and prosperity. This paper interrogates the situation of rural women in Cameroon based on primary investigations. It argues that, rural women are generally worse-off in the process of LSLA and even when they seems to benefit (jobs, social welfare, and amenities), these benefits are short-lived and replaced by far-reaching negative effects (exclusion, landless, poverty) on their reproductive and productive roles. These effects are obvious since LSLA is presently conceived from investors’ rather than investors/host countries’ perspectives. The current architecture of LSLA thus needs to be inclusive and engendered.
New research about gender, land and mining in Mongolia: deepening understanding of coping strategies in pastoral communities
Elizabeth Daley1, Yansanjav Narangerel2, Zoe Driscoll1
1Mokoro Ltd, United Kingdom; 2People Centered Conservation (PCC), Mongolia
This paper shares findings from new research on gender and land in a pastoralist community in central-western Mongolia, with a complex structure of investment and operations in gold mining. The paper examines what has been learned from the research about people's coping strategies in the face of social and environmental change, specifically in the context of the development of mining since the transition from socialism and in a relatively isolated area. Comparisons are made with similar studies in other communities in Mongolia, where it is found that in some ways female-headed households are less vulnerable in this new research community, while many men are in fact the vulnerable members of the community.
Strengthening women's voices in land governance in the context of commercial pressures on land
Over the past two years, IIED has been working with local partners in selected communities in Senegal, Tanzania and Ghana to develop, test and when possible upscale tools and approaches to strengthen rural women’s voices in local land governance in the context of commercial pressures on land.This paper will distil insights from this work, documenting the tools and approaches developed and implemented in each country and presenting key challenges and lessons learned.The paper will explain the rationale behind each approach and provide a step by step description of the implementation process. It will also explore the challenges met during implementation and the mitigation strategies developed to overcome them. It will draw specific lessons for each geography, compare and contrast the approaches and identify broader lessons exploring their potential for replication.