TMG Think Tank for Sustainability

SEWOH Lab Concept Note: Women's Tenure Security and Digitalization

TMG Land Governance team publish a short paper outlining the approach of the Gender and Land Rights workstream of the SEWOH Lab project

by Oscar Schmidt

Jul 15, 2021

SEWOH Lab Concept Note: Women's Tenure Security and Digitalization

TMG Research’s SEWOH Lab is one of some 300 projects tasked with the realization of the goals of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development's special initiative 'SEWOH' ('One World-No Hunger'). The initiative is intended to support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the second goal, which envisages a world without hunger, in which every person has a sufficient and balanced diet, and agriculture is organised sustainably for future generations.

Hunger, malnutrition and poverty have multiple causes, but insecure or unresolved land rights are unquestionably a particularly decisive factor. Unequal, unfair and insecure land rights intersect with socially generated axes of disadvantage. In a majority of the 35 countries on which the SEWOH focuses, including Kenya, Malawi and Benin, women are disproportionately excluded from secure land tenure rights. The SEWOH Lab - Gender and Land Rights workstream (GLR) is designed to address this concern, by focusing on ways that new approaches to digitalisation can support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In co-operation with local civil society organisations in Benin and Kenya, the GLR addresses soil degradation, food, and income insecurity by promoting secure tenure and land resources for women. The focus of the workstream is on whether and how digital tools, such as participatory tenure mapping tools and user-oriented databases, can increase the capacity of women to enforce their land rights, as well as complementing analogue land governance processes in general.

However, digital tools can also pose risks to women's tenure security, depending who has access to the tools and who controls the generated data. For this reason the GLR is just as interested in the risks of digital innovations as in the opportunities, in the context of strengthening tenure security for women. To learn more about the approach, research agenda and work packages of the GLR workstream, please read the concept note here.

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