Tag: women land rights

IWD2023 Q&A: Women’s Empowerment benefits Society, as Egypt has over 35% Female-Headed Households – Prof Heba Allah E. Khalil

  • Prof. Dr Heba Allah Essam El-Din Khalil is a Professor of Sustainable Urbanism at the Department of Architectural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, with an academic and professional experience of more than 15 years. She is also the Senior Coordinator of the Architectural Engineering and Technology AET program at the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University.
  • She has pursued scientific research in various fields, including community development, participatory evaluation, informal areas development, energy efficiency strategies, sustainable urbanism, affordable housing, quality of life, strategic planning, urban metabolism, urban climate and integrated urban systems with more than 25 publications including books and journal papers. 

Special Focus on Leading Voices on Women’s Land Rights in Africa

How important is it for women to lift each other, and what does that mean to you?

Within the current inequitable world, women must stick together and support each other. Whether it is promoting awareness about gender equity issues, disseminating information about relevant opportunities, providing mentorship, or building the capacity of women, supporting gender equity shapes a fundamental part of my ethos.

Why do you think equity is important for women in land rights?

Land rights symbolize issues of power within society. Hence, improving women’s access to land is vital in empowering them economically and socially. As more than 35% of households in Egypt are female-headed, this indicates the importance of women’s improved capacity as it reflects society’s overall well-being.

Do you think the field of land governance has succeeded in incorporating women, conceptually and institutionally?

Various efforts have been exerted to incorporate women in land governance issues. However, there is still a gap between the conceptual frameworks and reality that stems from prolonged and systematic exclusion. Institutionally, there is still much to be addressed and achieved, from building the capacity of women to undertake various responsibilities and represent their stakes in the decision-making processes to facilitating their infiltration into the existing institutional setups and hard-held convictions that have been long governing. Additionally, with their different land governance dynamics, much work is needed on the ground, both within urban and rural communities.

What do you hope to see in terms of progress and change in the field of land governance and women’s land right policies over the next few years?

I aspire to see more capacitated women in decision-making positions and see housing programs prioritising women’s tenure. Additionally, I hope laws protecting women’s land rights are implemented and reflected in real projects with increased resources and institutional and societal support.

What advice would you offer to young women who are interested in pursuing a career in the land/ land governance sector?

My advice for young girls and women is to study well and to profoundly understand the underlying structures that inhibit women’s access to land so that they can better devise responsive interventions. I would also advise them to pursue this career and equip themselves with the knowledge of related technological tools and software and the soft skills needed for continuous negotiations and discussions with various stakeholders. Additionally, and most importantly, I would advise them always to remember the vulnerable and underrepresented and how they are working to improve their livelihoods when faced with challenges or obstacles along their paths.

NELGA Presents: International Women’s Month Q&A Series

Welcome to the International Women’s Month Q&A series on the NELGA website. This March, we are shining a spotlight on the critical contributions that women are making in the field of land governance and land rights. As part of this series, we’re interviewing well-known women in the field affiliated with the network. They’ll talk about their experiences, insights, and points of view on various issues related to land governance, policy, and rights.

The goal of these Q&As is to honour the accomplishments of women in this field while also bringing attention to the problems they’ve had to deal with and the chances for progress and change. We hope this series will encourage more people to get involved in land governance and work for more social justice and gender equity.

We are excited to share the stories and insights of these women, whose actions influence NELGA’s impact in Africa. We hope you will join us in celebrating International Women’s Month and women’s contributions to the land governance field.


Find the stories here:

Dr Safiatou Saidou speaks on advocacy, lobbying and financial contributions to promote women’s land rights in Northern Cameroon.

Dr Janet Edeme discusses women’s protection, resilience, and agricultural opportunities for Africa’s development.

Prof Dr Heba Allah Khalil provides empirical context on land issues for women lead households in Egypt.

New Study: Women’s Access to Land Ownership and Agricultural Development in Baïgom, West Cameroon

Women represent close to 51% of the Cameroonian population, and they are more than 70% active in food and market gardening activities (INS, 2010). Like those elsewhere, the rural women of Baigom are fighting with all the means at their disposal to gain access to land and participate in the agricultural development of this village. To this end, they need land and capital to carry out their actions to make agriculture profitable and ensure food security for their families.

This contribution makes it possible to analyze the socio-economic and cultural context, which is unfavourable primarily to women’s access to land in Baigom. Women active in agricultural production activities are limited by the unavailability of land resources, which constitute a no less negligible factor of production. This State of virtual exclusion of these leading actors in family farming is detrimental to the development of the agricultural economy.

To conduct this study, the methodology adopted focused on primary and secondary sources and field observations. As for the primary sources, socio[1]economic surveys were carried out with a target population of women producers in the village of Baïgom. The socio-economic surveys reached 5% of women over the age of 15; in the end, 150 questionnaires were collected in the five central districts of the village (Nkoupetgom, Nkou gahri, Chaanké, Mbayé, Njissen). Young girls are more like family labourers in peasant agriculture.

The secondary data are the fruit of the literature review and the consultation of the archives. These archives are present in the decentralized services of the State of the specialized institutions which generate official statistics, such as the National Institute of Statistics (INS). The webography was not, moreover, a source of acquisition of specific knowledge in terms of the gender approach to land issues in tropical Africa as a whole. The main results indicate that women’s access to land ownership is low, with only about 8% holding a land title. Furthermore, the juxtaposition of modern and customary rights complicates the marginalization of women’s access to land, negatively impacting agricultural production activities. Despite these obstacles, solutions are envisaged by all the actors to involve women more in the management of rural land.

Click here to read the research.