Securing Land and Property Rights for All

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p2015Capable and hardworking women and men can be found throughout the world. Equal opportunity and rights to resources, however, cannot.

A high-level panel report delivered to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the end of May maintains that we can change this. We can build a better world, "eradicating extreme poverty once and for all, in the context of sustainable development."

So as world leaders wrap up a week of negotiations in New York that included a review of progress on the Millennium Development Goals and the release of an "outcome document" to shape a new post-2015 development agenda, now is a good time to take a critical look at who remains stuck in generational poverty and examine the qualities they share.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world who remain stuck in abject poverty share four important traits: They live in rural areas, they rely on the land to survive, they don't have secure legal rights to that land, and they are more often than not women.

Women like Kumra Makubai, an Indian farmer and mother of three. Like so many farmers around the world, Kumra had no control over the land she depended on to survive. Her children went hungry. They dropped out of school for lack of school fees. This short video shows how Kumra was able to begin her climb out of poverty with secure land rights.

Secure rights to land and other productive resources, particularly for women, are part of what the OECD Development Centre calls "the missing dimensions" of the MDGs – those fundamental, cross-cutting issues that currently are not adequately accounted for, but must be included to ensure a successful post-2015 agenda.

Today, there is a growing consensus recognizing the importance of secure rights to land and other productive resources - for women and men - to achieve broader development goals such as eradicating poverty and reducing gender inequality. In fact, secure land rights were mentioned in a number of key reports on the post-2015 agenda, and a report synthesizing 84 participatory studies concluded: "Priority should be given to ensuring basic needs relating to food, sanitation and land rights as without these, the poorest cannot access services such as education."

Click here for the full story: Courtesy of Landesa

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