Property, Assets and Land rights for Women in the Global South: Why gender…

Wed 28 February 2018 14:00 – 16:00

In the context of the Centenary celebrations, the session discusses how effective property rights and control of assets remain a distant dream for most women in the global south.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals reflect the importance of women’s rights to land and property, setting a specific target for equal rights to ownership and control over land by 2030. Land and property ownership impacts on women’s economic uncertainty, food security and vulnerability across many livelihood contexts, leveraging their power over household decisions. Often economic independence works as a catalyst for changing gender relations within the household and community, and spearheading the welfare of future generations.
This session will include a talk from the world’s leading expert on women’s property rights – Professor Bina Agarwal, who advocates that for women, effective rights in property are critically important – not just for their economic well-being but also for their political and social empowerment.
Bina Agarwal is an acclaimed prize-winning development economist and Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester. Her recent work, ‘Gender Challenges’ provides gender perspectives on a wide range of academic and policy issues of current importance in a three-volume set of essays written by her over the last three decades.
Her multiple award-winning book, A Field of One’s Own (1994) was recognised by prize juries as ‘a classic’, and her writings have influenced policy and practice globally. For example, she led a successful campaign in India for the comprehensive amendment of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, which resulted in the enactment of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005. Some of her recent accomplishments include International Balzan Prize 2017, Louis Malassis International Scientist Prize 2017, and the Officer of the Order of Agricultural Merit, Government of France, 2017.
Dr Susie Jacobs reflects on gender, land rights and land redistribution in comparative perspective. Susie is a Reader in Comparative Sociology; she has written widely on land, gender and women’s rights in southern Africa and in other areas of the world. She will discuss some of the contradictions for rural women, and the relevance of land rights for contemporary movements and policies – such as food sovereignty and moves to title land​
Dr Shoba Arun will focus on women’s property rights in Kerala, South India, where lineage and property are traced through women from matrilineal communities, drawing from her recent book Development and Gender Capital in India (Routledge Asian Series).

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