Women and land, property and housing

Women’s rights to land, property and housing are essential for realizing their rights to equality and to an adequate standard of living, among many other rights. Women’s secure access to land, property and housing supports their independence and autonomy, provides for their day-to-day needs and those of their families and allows them to weather some of life’s most difficult challenges. Realizing women’s land, property and housing rights is an integral part of the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Prevailing gender inequalities both in public and private spheres, undermine women’s exercise of their rights to land, property and housing. Multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination against women as well as LGBTI persons amplify such inequalities. Certain global trends – such as commodification and financialization of land, climate change and environmental degradation and urbanization – are exacerbating pressure on land and the natural resources, housing and livestock attached to it.

At the same time, normative and policy frameworks to protect and promote women’s rights to land, property and housing have developed at national, regional and global levels. Evolving guidance and jurisprudence have articulated the application of human rights standards.