On the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, celebrated on June 17 each year, women’s land rights have been highlighted at events around the world. From Kenya to Viet Nam, to a high-level event at UN Headquarters in New York, the need to ensure equal land rights was highlighted.
In a video message, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: By ensuring equal land rights, we protect land and advance gender equality“. He urged all governments to remove legal barriers that prevent women from owning land and participating in policy-making.
That said, and for the moment, the figures communicated by the UN are alarming. Fewer than one in five landowners worldwide are women, according to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Discriminatory practices related to land ownership, access to credit, equal pay and decision-making often prevent women from playing an active role in maintaining land health, despite their significant representation in the global agricultural workforce.
Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the Convention to Combat Desertification, pointed out that women’s land rights are far from equal to those of men in terms of land registration and appropriation. This inequality has negative consequences on land productivity and family incomes, particularly affecting women and children.
Land degradation continues at an alarming rate, jeopardizing food production, biodiversity and the climate crisis, underlines the UN in a press release after the event, noting that women and girls are the first victims, suffering disproportionately from lack of food, water scarcity and forced migration resulting from poor land management.
In this sense, the #HerLand campaign was launched by the UNCCD to raise awareness of the crucial role of women in the preservation of land. At the high-level event, Malian singer and UNCCD Goodwill Ambassador Inna Modja performed the world premiere of the song “Her Land”, highlighting the importance of empowering women and young people in the fight against desertification and land degradation.
High-level speakers, women leaders, renowned scientists, land activists and youth representatives during this event highlighted the progress made, but also underlined the need for more efforts to standardize the rules of property. land tenure and remove barriers to women’s participation in decision-making.
Csaba Kőrösi, President of the UN General Assembly, highlighted the importance of women farmers’ access to their own land, which contributes to their personal development as well as that of their nations. Strengthening women’s land rights improves food security and reduces malnutrition, with positive effects that ripple through society.
Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland and Ambassador of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said that solving gender inequalities is not only a good thing to do, but it is also beneficial for the whole of society. Company. When women are fully empowered to use their skills, knowledge, talents and leadership potential, our societies benefit.