Gender and Land Reforms in Pakistan (P-34)

Gender and Land Reforms in Pakistan (P-34)

Publication details

  • Wednesday | 15 Sep, 2010
  • Nazish Brohi
  • Policy Briefs/Papers
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Nazish BrohiPolicy September 2010

 Women’s land ownership and control have important connections with their empowerment in Pakistan’s agricultural context. However, the link between these has largely remained unexplored; and there has been negligible research to determine how many women own or control land in Pakistan. The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) carried out a multiple pronged research in 2007-09 to fill this knowledge gap and to examine the causality behind women’s land ownership and empowerment. The research focused on women’s rights vis-à-vis the inheritance framework of private agrarian land; and did not encompass private residential or commercial property, neither did it cover other possible means of land acquisition by women like through purchase or as gifts.

 The research spanned rural areas across all four provinces of Pakistan, drawing on national laws, existing policies, literature review and field work. The qualitative data was gathered through interviews, surveys, focus group discussions, life histories, narratives and case studies.

This Policy Paper briefly traces the chronological evolution of land organization to examine the context, direction and underlying objectives of the three state-led land reforms in Pakistan. It will do so with a specific focus on the interface of land politics and gender relations, with the understanding that land, among other resources, has been one of the key components for maintaining patriarchal control of women; that rural women’s lives are intimately connected to land, on which they are direct stakeholders.