Women and Land in the Arab region

Women’s housing, land and property rights are catalyst to ensure the social and economic development of communities and increase food security. They contribute to the realisation and enjoyment of a broad range of human rights such as the right to adequate standard of living, adequate housing, health, work and education. Housing, land and property rights increase women’s empowerment and participation in decision making within the household and in the public life. They help protecting women from gender-based violence and other health hazards, and they enable women to play an active role in the stabilization of societies affected by crisis and conflict.

The challenges women face in relation to the access and enjoyment of their housing, land and property rights is part of the broader gender inequalities that reflect many aspects of the Arab society. The Women and Land Campaign promoted by UN-Habitat, the Global Land Tool Network and the Arab Land Initiative aims at raising awareness on how to overcome such challenges and at empowering women to improve their housing, land and property rights while drawing the public’s attention to this important theme.

The Campaign is promoted by UN-Habitat, as part of its  mandate to achieve a better urban future for all, and by the partners of the Stand for Her Land Campaign, including the World Bank, the International Land Coalition, Landesa, and Habitat for Humanity.

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Key Messages on Women and Land

Empower and Improve the Life of Women by Protecting their Land, Housing and Property Rights in the Arab Region.
Key Messages.Downloads: Arabic, English

Media Cards

CARD 1

When women have housing, land and property rights…
…they are more likely to enjoy a range of interconnected human rights, including adequate standard of living and protection from forced eviction.
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CARD 2

When women have housing, land and property rights…
…the power relations within the household are balanced. This enables women to have a bigger say in the household’s decisions and to exit violent relationships.
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CARD 3

When women have housing, land and property rights…
…the agricultural productivity and the overall food production increases.
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CARD 4

When women have housing, land and property rights…
…their participation in decision-making, within their families and communities, and in the overall political debate increases.
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CARD 5

When women have housing, land and property rights…
…they are more likely to have the financial security they need, the household welfare increases and children have better chances to be educated.
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CARD 6

When women have housing, land and property rights…
…their autonomy and self-determination increases, improving their lives and their ability to plan for old-age support.
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CARD 7

When women have housing, land and property rights…
…they are better protected from violence, extreme weather conditions and other health hazards.
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CARD 8

In displacement and crises-affected contexts, when women have housing, land and property rights…
…they are better able to manage the negative economic and social impact of conflict.
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CARD 9

In displacement and crises-affected contexts, when women have housing, land and property rights…
…they are better able to provide for themselves and to cope with the lack of family support.
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CARD 10

In displacement and crises-affected contexts, when women have housing, land and property rights…
…their engagement in peace processes and the likelihood of peace agreements to be implemented increase.
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CARD 11

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Protect women’s land rights at the time of marriage by promoting the registration of marriages through written marital contracts and encouraging joint property arrangements.
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CARD 12

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Protect women’s inheritance rights by combatting and regulating renunciation practices through the provision of information, financial and legal aid, and practical support to enable women claiming their inheritance rights in courts or alternative dispute-resolution systems.
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CARD 13

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Strengthen women’s rights of use to land and housing by regulating and promoting the use of written tenancy and lease agreements, removing the blockages, simplifying the requirements and providing legal support and mediation for their enforcement.
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CARD 14

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Promote the inclusion of women’s names in all types of land tenure documents: individual and joint ownership, lease agreements, occupancy contracts, etc.
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CARD 15

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Support women’s access to justice and dispute-resolution mechanisms through the provision of legal assistance, counselling, representation and mediation, and through the removal of practical and logistical barriers.
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CARD 16

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Support women’s access to justice and dispute-resolution mechanisms by providing access to non-confrontational land dispute resolution mechanisms that do not jeopardize their family relationships.
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CARD 55

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Collect and analyse sex-disaggregated data on land administration processes, land use patterns, issues faced by women in accessing land and other land-related dynamics to guide reforms and decision making.
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CARD 17

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Amend discriminatory laws which hinder women’s access to land such as citizenship laws, guardianship laws, etc.
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CARD 18

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Harmonize, reconcile and align the provisions in the different legal systems, clarifying how they interface and interact with each other to avoid forum shopping and jurisdictional confusion.
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CARD 19

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights for women in displacement and crisis-affected contexts…
Remove legal and administrative blockages that prevent displaced women from using, renting or owning houses, land and properties, and promote the use and broker the issuing of written housing, land and property documents.
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CARD 20

According to the Islamic law…
Women possess independent legal, economic and spiritual identity with respect to access to land and property, and they have the right to acquire, hold, use, administer and dispose of property including land.
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CARD 21

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Raise awareness among women and men on the importance of advancing and protecting women’s land and property rights at the national and regional level, among family and community members, and key land actors.
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CARD 22

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Raise awareness among decision makers on the economic and social values of women’s work, this will assist them in understanding the benefits they, and their families, will enjoy by guaranteeing women’s equal access to and control over land.
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CARD 23

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Protect women’s land rights at the time of marriage by ensuring that marital contracts include different property regimes options, dowry (mahr) arrangements, and define the conditions for settlement in case of divorce.
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Arabic: Square, Landscape
English: Square, Landscape

CARD 24

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Protect women’s land rights at the time of marriage by promoting the inclusion of joint marital property in the national legal and administrative frameworks.
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Arabic: Square, Landscape
English: Square, Landscape

CARD 26

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Develop the capacities of all stakeholders involved in contracting marriage, including couples to be and their families, and other key actors involved in dispute-resolution processes related to marriage and divorce to deal with land and marital property issues.
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Arabic: Square, Landscape
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CARD 27

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Protect women’s inheritance rights by raising awareness on the existing statutory and religious inheritance laws and on the importance of inheritance to fight the negative attitude towards women claiming their inheritance rights.
Downloads
Arabic: Square, Landscape
English: Square, Landscape

CARD 29

To increase women’s access to housing, land and property rights in the Arab region…
Protect women’s inheritance rights by raising awareness on the existing statutory and religious inheritance laws and on the importance of inheritance to fight the negative attitude towards women claiming their inheritance rights.
Downloads
Arabic: Square, Landscape
English: Square, Landscape


Related Publications

Women and Land in the Muslim World: Pathways to increase access to land for the realization of development, peace and human rights

Download: Arabic, English

GLTN Gender Strategy (2019–2030): Towards Securing Women’s and Girls’ Land and Property Rights Gender evaluation criteria for large-scale land tools

 

Related Events

Second Arab Land Conference Expert Group Meeting on land tenure security and socio-economic development especially for women in the Arab region

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