Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper - IFPRI Discussion Paper
Title Examining Gender Inequalities in Land Rights Indicators in Asia
Issue 01429
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ifpridp01429.pdf
A broad consensus has emerged among both policymakers and researchers that strengthening women’s
property rights plays an important role in reducing poverty and achieving equitable growth. Despite the
important role of land in rural livelihoods and as a form of wealth in many Asian cultures, surprisingly
few nationally representative data exist on women’s land rights in Asia. This paucity hinders the
formulation and implementation of appropriate policies to reduce gender gaps in land rights. This paper
reviews the available data on men’s and women’s land rights, identifies what can and cannot be measured
by these data, and uses these measures to assess the gaps in the land rights of women and men. Building
on the conceptual framework developed in 2014 by Doss et al., we utilize nationally representative
individual- and plot-level data from Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Vietnam, and Timor-Leste to calculate five
indicators: incidence of ownership by sex; distribution of ownership by sex; and distribution of plots,
mean plot size, and distribution of land area, all by sex of owner. The results show large gender gaps in
landownership across countries. However, critical data gaps cloud our understanding of land rights and
why women fare better or worse in certain countries. In particular, the limited information on joint and
individual ownership indicates that this is an important area for future data collection and analysis.

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