Partner: Action Aid Pakistan, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) & IDRC.
Team Members: Nazish Brohi, Wajiha Anwar
There has been very little research to determine how many women own land-? or how many control land-? With the understanding that deprivation from an unequal opportunity to land ownership is a structural and systemic gender barrier, that is both, the cause and effect of marginalization, this research was undertaken to address this knowledge gap and draw inferences and examine causality behind a woman landlessness, poverty and the status of women in Pakistan. It aimed to provide an informed base and strong case for policy makers, state institutions, development organizations and practitioners to redress the historic and contemporary marginalization of women from power equations. The study is the first of its kind on the issue, in depth, extensive and multi phased to cover all facets of the debate. It contained research and analysis, broadly through a policy and law review and an examination of the current position regarding women’s ownership and control over land. It also examined the land administration structures and judicial precedents, reflecting the implicit trends. It also assessed the role of the State in according women land rights through land reform. The research holistically explored women landlessness, both the process and the outcome, and systemic barriers in place. It also ‘tested’ its findings through analyzing cases where women have ownership of land and explore the possibilities that could emerge if this right is accorded, assessing different models proposed for ensuring women’s right to land.
The research spanned rural areas across all the four provinces of Pakistan, drawing on both national laws, existing policies, statistics, literature review and analyzing land related institutions and structures, as well as field work; qualitative data gathered through interviews, surveys, Focus Group Discussions, life histories, narratives and case studies.