All land and capacity development related issues apply with special emphasis on the role of women, and most particularly in agriculture and small-holder based economies. Unfortunately the constraints faced by women emanate from historical, economic, cultural and political policies and processes, and can and do lead to unsustainable practices. These constraints include minimal land rights, less access to credit, less access to inputs such as fertilizer, less opportunity to benefit from agricultural extension services, and less access to improved technologies such as those for on-farm crop processing which women usually carry out. The net result is that “rural poverty is deeply rooted in the imbalance between what women do and what they have” (Ashby et al 2008).
The answer to rural development and poverty reduction, therefore, is to provide women with more equitable access to natural resources and finances, and greater farm based incentives. These should include: 1) greater security of tenure over the resources for which they are responsible; and 2) cash generating activities that yield a better return on labour. In addition, girls and women require equal access to education at all levels, and equal access to capacity building in land and agriculture so that their knowledge can be incorporated and their potential can be fully realized.
The following selected project / courses completed by the CPS either have a primary or secondary role relating to empowering women through enhancing awareness, education, knowledge and action.
- Building Higher Education in Malawi (AUCC / CIDA)
- Land Reform and Governance in South Africa (CIDA and AUCC),
- Capacity Building in Southern Africa (CIDA)
- Women’s Access to Land and Natural Resources, Zimbabwe (FAO, Sida, Habitat, NSERC)
- Land Registration and Titling Evaluation in Cambodia (CIDA),
- Kazakhstan Land Registration Project (World Bank)
- Evaluation of Land Registration Projects, Russia / Ukraine (Sida)
- Impact of Land Reform on Agriculture in Kyrgistan (GRM),
- Gender in land administration in Russia (SwedeSurvey),
- Workshop on Property. . . A Concept, an Institution and a Right, Costa Rica (CIDA)
- Workshop on Property . . . A Concept, an Institution and a Right, Mexico (INSTRUCT)
- Gender in Land Administration in Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Ghana and Laos (World Bank),