Theme 2: Women and youth access to land

The closing conference on this theme took place on 16 December. You will soon find on this page a summary of this discussion and proposals for further work on this theme.

To watch the closing conference :

Main co-organiser: Convergence of Struggles for Land and Natural Resources - West Africa on the occasion of the launch of the third West African Caravan on the Right to Land, Water and Peasant Agroecology.

In the meantime, you can continue to share your experiences of struggles and your thoughts on this issue on the "Online discussions" page.

To be kept informed of upcoming events through the forum newsletter and to participate in the discussions, please register by following the link on the right.

Presentation of the theme

Women's access to land and natural resources is a key international issue. Too often, women's rights to land and natural resources are minimised or denied in favour of men, even though they make up the bulk of the peasant workforce and play a key role in agricultural production and natural resource management. This is the combined result of two major factors: 

  • customs reinforced by the misinterpretation of religion,
  • land policies and laws that do not sufficiently recognise the place of women.

Women peasants are therefore doubly penalised, on the one hand because as peasants they are subject to the same pressure as men in terms of land grabbing, particularly on the commons which are often their main source of resources, and on the other hand because within the communities they are discriminated against by patriarchal traditions.

Young people are also affected by these patriarchal customs, which also make it difficult for them to access land and become empowered, with the result that they tend to flee the rural world and abandon agriculture, weakening communities and leaving them vulnerable to external pressures, when they could have an important role to play in strengthening them and ensuring the future of peasant agriculture. The difference with women is that young people are destined to become senior citizens, so this discrimination is temporary, unlike that affecting women.

This discussion will be based on the experience developed by the UACCDDDD (Union of Associations and Coordination of Associations for the Development of the Rights of the Poor), a member of the Malian Convergence Against Land Grabbing (CMAT) in Mali.

Purpose of this discussion

This approach was developed in the specific context of West Africa, and does not claim to have universal value. Struggles must be adapted to local and national contexts, and therefore the forms of mobilisation will necessarily be different in other regions. The objective of this debate will be to compare the experiences of women's struggles around the world with that of the UACCDD and to reflect on possible common actions between various organisations and regions mobilised around this struggle, and on the international advocacy to be strengthened.

Theme 2: Timeline

  • 23 November: Launch videoconference
  • 24 November to 16 December: online exchanges and discussions.
  • 16 December : Closing of the theme with the presentation of 3 emblematic struggles presented by women farmers from all over the world
  • January 2021: Videos of the videoconferences and summary documents available on the website
8 participations
Online comments
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16 December 2021 21:09

I'm sorry, I didn't finish my comment. I was saying that the investigators are not trying to find out if the women have their own land or not. In fact, women are regularly evicted from areas where they are only temporarily allowed to grow food. So their access to the land is not secure. Sometimes their crops are dug up or burnt. As they are not educated, they have no other alternative. They are not as educated in the struggles and live in fear... Read more "

16 December 2021 20:53

Good evening to all. I would like to encourage you for the work you have done. Thank you especially for your interest in the life of rural women through the organisation of this forum on women's access to land. In my village of Tiegba in Côte d'Ivoire, the majority of women are poor. Their children do not go to school and the girls engage in prostitution to support themselves. The texts in force have not sufficiently taken into account the specificity that women represent.... Read more "

Sanou Fatouma
Sanou Fatouma
9 December 2021 14:08

Hello. Thank you for the videoconference and for the interventions in this space. Thank you Paolo Groppo for the bridge with the FMAT 2016 and with the collective journey of reflections and struggle. I would like to add: 1) these inequalities of access to land rights for women are intertwined with other inequalities and with a certain structuring of our way of inhabiting the world and of being in relation that it would be important to debate as well. Feminist movements and critical thinking have questioned this. 2) A sharing of field experience and hypotheses/questions. During an agrarian diagnosis... Read more "

Michel Merlet
Michel Merlet
6 December 2021 11:50

I was waiting for new contributions to intervene, but I still see only 3, with 10 days to go before the end of the online reflection, and none from West African organisations, unfortunately. The first videoconference, which was fortunately enriched by an important participation from CONTAG, given the impossibility for the convergence of struggles in West Africa to connect, leads me to the following comments and questions: 1/ Women's and young people's access to land varies a lot according to social and ethnic groups, even though national laws are in place to protect the rights of women and young people.... Read more "

paolo groppo
paolo groppo
1 December 2021 11:17

Recalling the work of the 2016 WFAL thematic group, I think it would be appropriate for the various organisations to take stock of the actions they have taken to advance the list of proposals outlined in the group's final document. = Recalling the work of the 2016 WFAL thematic group, I think it would be appropriate for the various organizations to take stock of the actions they have taken to advance the list of proposals outlined in the group's final document = Recordando los trabajos del grupo temático del FMAT de 2016, creo que sería conveniente que las distintas... Read more "

Alonso Batista dos Santos
Alonso Batista dos Santos
30 November 2021 22:05

A CONTAG realizou Encontros Regionais de Reforma Agrária e essa foi uma das músicas que compartilhamos

paolo groppo
paolo groppo
26 November 2021 15:18

Spanish - French - English - Portuguese Herencia de tierras La intervención de Fanny, una campesina francesa, me pareció muy interesante. There are many national and regional studies that confirm that in legal and customary systems, most women, independently of their civil status, cannot inherit their children. Un problema que no sólo afecta a los países del Sur, sino también, como confirma Fanny, a los del Norte. Quería recordar cómo este asunto fue un tema muy discutido durante la FMAT de Valencia de 2016. El grupo de trabajo específico dedicado a... Read more "