Back to search

Gender and Land Degradation Neutrality

Climate and human-induced land degradation endangers the future survival of our planet. A new focus on achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN) seeks to spark and grow transformative efforts to avoid, reduce, and reverse land degradation through gender and socially equitable means.

As of July 2019, 122 countries of the 169 countries directly affected by desertification, land degradation, or drought pledged to achieve LDN at the national or sub-national level. More than 82 countries have already set LDN targets towards halting land degradation by 2030, and 44 of the 70 countries regularly hit by drought are setting up drought management plans to ensure that droughts do not turn into disasters. Many of the targets entail co-benefits for sustainable agriculture and food security, and link to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to advance gender equality, increase women’s equal access to and control over land and natural resources, improve health and nutrition, reduce poverty, and restore ecosystems and climate change impacts.

Priorities for action under the UNCCD Gender Action Plan

  • Ensuring women ́s participation in decisions taken during the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of initiatives to implement the Convention.
  • Integrating women’s economic empowerment in UNCCD implementation activities in order to eradicate their extreme poverty.
  • Strengthening women’s land rights and access to resources.
  • Enhancing women’s access to improved knowledge and technologies that relate to effective UNCCD implementation

Where to find information for country gender context assessments?

Information and data for a nuanced, gender-responsive analysis of the country context for LDN projects – particularly major political, legal and social factors that influence the realization of women’s land rights – can be accessed at the following knowledge hubs:

  • FAO, Gender and Land Rights Database (GLRD), with 84 country profiles available.
  • FAO-developed Country Gender Assessments (CGAs) provide an extensive national gender profile of agriculture and rural livelihoods, with 22 country profiles available across three regions (as of August 2019), .

Regional development banks also offer country gender assessments, such as:

  • African Development Bank (AfDB) country gender profiles
  • Asian Development Bank country gender assessments
  • PRINDEX: national surveys in about 100 countries of perceptions of property security by a representative sample of rights-holders – not only heads of household – accounting for women and young adults’ land rights; evidence is also available from 33 countries on women’s perceptions of tenure security.
  • The World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law initiative tracks discriminatory laws and national data worldwide (189 countries), including on land ownership and tenure, marital property administration, non-monetary contributions, and economic empowerment.
  • The Legislation Assessment Tool for gender-equitable land tenure (LAT) is based on 30 legal indicators to assess national gender-equitable land tenure in support of implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forestry in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT); completed assessments are available for 23 low- and middle-income countries.
  • The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN)-produced Gender Evaluation Criteria assesses the gender-responsiveness of land tools and can be adapted to varied activities and contexts to sufficiently address the needs of both women and men.
  • National research and synthesis documents from government agencies, such as women’s ministries and human rights commissions.
  • Government reports and NGO supplementary/shadow reports to international treaty-monitoring bodies, such as for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as progress reports as part of the Universal Periodic Review, 2030 Global Agenda SDGs, or the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action country reports to provide information on women’s land and resource rights and the broader national gender equality context and enabling environment.

From (A Manual for Gender-Responsive Land Degradation Neutrality Transformative Projects and Programmes )

Further reading: