Securing Rights and Livelihoods for Rural Women in the Context of Corporate Land Investments: Learning from Experiences in Africa

March 2013
Nidhi Tandon and Marc Wegerif (Paper prepared for the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, Washington DC, April 8-11, 2013)

Evidence from field research on large scale land deals in three African countries confirms that most rural women are net losers as corporate agro-investments intensify. The impacts on rural women are especially profound because they underpin much of the local food economy. Corporate land deals further entrench a cultivation model that marginalizes women’s interests. Limited social capital prevents women from countering the negative impacts of corporate land deals, making it extremely difficult to ensure that they benefit from public and private investments in agriculture. Strong interventions, led by rural women themselves and supported by civil society organisations and governments, are needed to advance the position of women in international frameworks, national policies and at local levels.