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Nairobi, 17 Mar 14

The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) – a global alliance of partners contributing to poverty alleviation through land reform, improved land management and security of tenure - is developing context-specific tools and approaches to facilitate access to land for women.

Since 2006, GLTN partners the University of East London and UN-Habitat have researched and developed capacities of key partners on Islamic land principles and pro-poor and gender sensitive land approaches for the Muslim world. The need of a set of specific tools to increase access to land for women in Muslim communities increasingly emerged as a key gap to be filled with urgency.

To mark International Women’s Day, a brainstorming session on priority land tools, took place in Cairo, Egypt, in early March. A diverse group of men and women shared lessons, identified opportunities, and identified key tool development areas to be explored.

Using the Action Learning methodology, GLTN partners UN-Habitat, the Urban Training and Studies Institute, the University of East London, GIZ, the Union of Arab Surveyors, Habitat International Coalition, and participants from other institutions from the Muslim world deliberated and concluded that women in the Muslim world would benefit from a number of efforts:Increased awareness on Islamic land principles and human rights; clarity and information on inheritance for women, including rights granted by Islamic land law; information on land and property regimes that are accessible by different categories of women and their children, especially during and after marriage; and mechanisms that ensure the protection of women land and property rights during land processes, such as urban expansion, land subdivision and consolidation, among others.

With an estimated 2 per cent of land registered in the name of women globally, access to land for 'the fairer half' of the world remains a challenge. Change requires shifting the mind-set of women, men, communities, policy and law makers, land administrators, planners, researchers, civil society groups, traditional and religious leaders, and all those with a stake in land - users, administrators, or providers.

With the continuous support of its Partners and of the energetic brainstorming group, the Network is now working to increase access to land and property rights for women in the Muslim world.

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