Taken from Habitat for Humanity’s Shelter Report 2016.
‘Land tenure is one of the great challenges Habitat for Humanity faces in helping families access decent housing. Countless families around the world lack rights to the land on which they live. Just imagine the stress of knowing that any day you might be forced to move because someone else claims ownership of the place you call home.
The security of property rights is a cross-cutting issue that impacts all areas of Habitat’s work. Whether addressing the needs of displaced people as a result of disaster or conflict, providing water and sanitation, working in informal settlements, or facilitating access to microfinance for incremental housing, Habitat’s work to provide decent shelter and create sustainable, stable, resilient communities can occur only if community residents have legal control of the land on which they live.
For that reason, Habitat cares deeply about ensuring access to secure property rights for everyone, especially women, who are disproportionately affected by lack of secure tenure. We have seen how impactful women are on the lives of their children and communities, and we have witnessed firsthand how ensuring secure property rights for women reverberates through communities to provide far-reaching benefits.
Habitat is working side by side with women to increase their property rights in a number of ways, including offering microloans and education on land and inheritance rights. Advocacy concerning land tenure is a huge focus in our work around the world. From community decision-making bodies to national governments and international organizations, Habitat is working at all levels to change policies and systems. In early 2016, we will launch Solid Ground, a global advocacy campaign to increase access to land for shelter. A key component of the campaign includes secure property rights for women.
In this report, we examine how secure tenure impacts women, specifically in reference to housing. We identify solutions and best practices and provide recommendations for advocates and policymakers alike.’Download PDF