Research has shown that negative impacts of large-scale land investments in developing countries are borne disproportionately by women. Disadvantages faced by women, particularly lack of formal land rights and subordinate position in the community, often result in their exclusion from decision-making processes related to land use and allocation. This paper examines opportunities for regulatory reforms for increased participation by women in decision- making related to land investments. The paper stems from the project entitled Promoting Gender-Equitable and Participatory Community Decision-making Processes on Land Investments being implemented by the World Resources Institute and partner organizations in three countries: Mozambique, Tanzania and the Philippines. The project included a review of the formal and informal processes of land acquisitions for each country, consisting of the legal and policy frameworks and the practice of land acquisitions described in published reports and case studies. A key finding is that although the legal framework provides for participation of local communities in decision-making processes related to land investments, mechanisms are lacking to ensure that in practice communities are able to participate meaningfully and that women are included in decision-making. The paper identifies gaps in the legal frameworks and presents options for more gender-equitable community decision-making on land investments.
~ Celine Salcedo-La Viña and Maitri Morarji