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Sustainable Development Goal number five calls for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Taking place just after the United Nations summit in September at which the adoption of the SDGs is anticipated, this session of the Bern conference on land and resource rights provides a timely opportunity to consider progress in recognizing women’s land rights in both statutory and customary tenure systems. It is a fact that globally, most private land is owned by men, with women’s access to such land usually being through the male line—rendering unmarried, divorced or widowed women particularly vulnerable. Under community based systems of forest and land tenure, similar patterns tend to prevail, although the situation is often more nuanced and complex. Rather than focusing on women’s land and resource rights per se, and the variety of de facto and de jure examples around the world, this session will instead consider the enabling environment necessary for women to claim their rights to land and—especially—forest resources.

We will discuss the role of different stakeholders, and the practical way in which capacities can be built at community, civil society, private, and government level to ensure that women’s rights are known, their importance understood, and that women’s voices are heard in decision-making over forest resources on an equal basis with those of men. The session will aim to define ways in which a more conducive environment for women’s equal engagement in decision-making over community land use and management can be promoted.

Mr. Herman Wijethunge, Convener, National Fisheries Solidarity
Ms. Lucila Pautrat, Forestry Engineer, Sociedad Peruana de
Mr. Duncan Pollard, Associate Vice President – Stakeholders
Engagement in Sustainability, Nestlé S.A.
Mr. Frédéric Djinadja, Executive Director, Rural Self Promotion for
Sustainable Development
Ms. Amina Hajar Zahra, Community Mobilizer on Women’s Land Rights
Ms. Katie Minderhoud, Programme Officer, Solidaridad

helvetas 17 OX_HL_C_RGBRECOFTC White logo  LOGO_ILC
Organizers: Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, Oxfam, International Land Coalition and RECOFTC—The Center for People and Forests.

* This session will be held in English only.

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