Land Rights for Women
Why is this program unique?
The Joint Land Ownership Campaign is one the few such initiatives in Nepal and has been successful in convincing the government to introduce join landownership for couples in 2011.
What does it do?The campaign is spearheaded by Community Self-Reliance Centre (CSRC) in a consortium with Oxfam, Care Nepal, Action Aid, Lutheran World Federation and Governance Facility.
The program builds a national land rights movement, with forums in over 50 districts. They actively motivate and support couples to register land and property in the name of both husband and wife.
Oxfam implements the campaign in all its programs, through Participatory Learning Centres (PLC) and various mass awareness tools. Check out this manual to find out how we promote Joint Landownership and this promotional booklet in Nepali language for community member.
How does it improve the lives of those involved?
So far Oxfam supported 3000 couples in getting the certificate. The joint landownership creates a foundation for equality and brings countless benefits for women. It enables them to obtain loans and increase access to economic benefits. The landownership further enhances their social and legal status and reduces domestic violence.
Can you give one example?When Rukmini celebrated her 43rd marriage anniversary and her husband suggested they would register the land in her name too, she did not belief him.
She kept thinking, “If I have to get his permission to sell just ten kilo of paddy, how is he going to give me land ownership?” But her husband kept his word. Rukmini now is happy and content.
“I feel bolder,”she says, “I now have right to the soil, however much or little it may be. Once that happens there is greater affection within the family.”
What are the risks involved?
The campaign is hampered by the fear among community members that wives will leave their husbands after getting landownership. There is also resistance from family heads to share the landownership with their sons due to which Joint Landownership cannot be introduced in time.
How will it be replicated or built upon?
Oxfam shares a step for step How To with organisations that like to replicate the campaign. We also plan to introduce the campaign in the seven earthquake affected it works in through its Humanitarian Program.
Oxfam advocates for joint ownership for haliya, formerly bonded labourers, when provided land by the government.