Building Capacity of Staff for the Gender and Land Tenure Security

In order to support gender equality in the land sector, MRLG is currently developing a training programme for its team and partners. The training will help clarify national and regional action plans to embed gender in the various workstreams.

The relationship between land and gender, specifically land and women’s rights and access to secure tenure, is a globally pressing issue. Women’s rights to secure land tenure, access to natural resources and the rights to sustainably manage and financially benefit from natural resources are areas that have been discussed in depth over the past 20 years. While there has been significant progress around raising awareness and increasing tenure security for women and vulnerable members of the community in various countries, many would agree that there are still many issues around secure land tenure for women that remain sensitive and difficult to address.

In order to address these issues and find creative, equitable and sustainable solutions, it is important to understand how women manage, use, access and own land, and how this interacts with customary tenure and responsible agricultural investments.

To equip MRLG staff and its partners with increased understanding on gender and land governance, MRLG is currently conducting a blended learning and training programme. The training uses FAO’s ‘Governance of Land for Women and Men’ as the online context-specific component and is combined with intensive Zoom group work and presentations that cater for the MRLG national and regional contexts. The training is being run by a Gender Specialist, Elizabeth Daley, together with the MRLG Gender Focal Point Natalie Y. Campbell. To support the roll out of the training programme at the national level with MRLG Alliance members, national gender consultants have been hired for Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.

The FAO online course consists of six modules: introduction; gender-equitable participation in land policy-making; legal issues for gender-equitable governance of land tenure; building gender-equitable and participatory land institutions; technical issues; and how to get the message across. After the regional course with MRLG staff, the national teams will be in charge of rolling out the training at a national level together with both customary tenure and responsible agricultural investment alliances with the aim to develop national gender action plans.

“In Cambodia, women are more knowledgeable about customary tenure than men as women are using land more while men are focusing on making income to support the family” said Sophorn Poch, National Facilitator on Customary Tenure, speaking during a recent training session about participation of women in land policy-making. 

The gender action plans will specifically address how to incorporate more of a gendered lens to the alliance activities nationally and throughout the region. Gender and land tenure remains a sensitive topic and the complexities about women and land tenure are diverse and unique to each country and context so we as MRLG will keep learning, improving and documenting our lessons learned.

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