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Tanzania & Mozambique: Poor rural women discriminated in compensation after displacement to pave way for agribusiness, says report

A report by The World Resources Institute's (WRI) shows that women are discriminated when communities are compensated or resettled to pave way for agribusiness in Africa. The report calls for more inclusive and participatory community decision-making in negotiations on land investments.

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Report
26 March 2018

Full report

Author: World Resources Institute

"Making Women's Voices Count in Community Decision-Making on Land Investments"

The adverse impacts of commercialization and large-scale land acquisitions in the global South are often

disproportionately borne by women. The loss of access to farmland and common areas hit women harder than men in many communities, and women are often excluded from compensation and benefit schemes. Women’s social disadvantages, including their lack of formal land rights and generally subordinate position, make it difficult for them to voice their interests in the management and proposed allocation of community land to investors. While the development community and civil society have pushed for standards and safeguard policies that promote the meaningful involvement of rural communities generally in land acquisitions and investments, strengthening the participation of women as a distinct stakeholder group requires specific attention.

This working paper examines options for strengthening women’s participatory rights in the face of increasing commercial pressures on land in three countries: Mozambique, Tanzania, and the Philippines. It focuses on how regulatory reform—reforms in the rules, regulations, guidelines, and procedures that implement national land acquisition and investment laws—can promote gender equity and allow women to realize the rights afforded by national legal frameworks and international standards.

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Article
26 March 2018

Report says women shortchanged in commercial land deals

Author: Celine Salcedo-La Viña & Sophie Boehm, World Resources Insitute

"Women Get Shortchanged in Commercial Land Deals—Despite National Commitments to Gender Equality"

Kuluthum Mbwana remembers the day that biofuel investors arrived in her village Vilabwa, just 70 kilometers west of Tanzania's capital. In exchange for more than 8,000 hectares (19,800 acres) of land across 11 villages, including Vilabwa in Kisarawe District, she said they promised to bring much-needed jobs, schools and health clinics to her community...But after finalizing a land deal with the Tanzanian government in 2009, Mbwana said that British company Sun Biofuels abandoned its commitments to her and the rest of Vilabwa. Families who sold their farms to the company did not receive fair payments for their land. Wages from the new Sun Biofuels jobs were too low to offset the income villagers lost after selling their farms to the company. Apart from a shallow well, a dirt road and few portable classroom blackboards, Sun Biofuels failed to bring social services to Mbwana's village and nearby communities in Kisarawe District...

Unfortunately, stories like Mbwana's are common across Africa. As soil degradation, climate change and population growth place enormous strains on land that sustains millions of people, multinational companies are also gunning for large swaths of land. Caught between these pressures, many poor, rural communities get displaced or choose to sell their collectively held land. It's often women who suffer the most...

New research from WRI reveals that, despite constitutional commitments to gender equality, governments in Tanzania and Mozambique are not protecting poor, rural women from harmful commercial land deals. State officials' failure to close gaps in land laws and overhaul ineffective regulations shortchanges women, who receive little to no payment for their families' land. Governments' attempts to amplify their voices in community land decision-making are also falling short.

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