There’s nothing like that “new partnership” feeling—ideas are flowing, plans are being made, and big goals are being put into place. Collective action, especially in global development work, can be an exciting—but also daunting—adventure. Especially when developing dynamic, responsive relationships, where collective action can help build a larger, more powerful platform for change, like in the new campaign, Stand for Her Land.
Stand for Her Land is a global joint collaborative effort of several NGOs working together with local coalitions to advocate for women’s land rights. The campaign draws upon the strength of previous efforts of activists, advocacy and civil society groups, who were successful in getting countries to pass new laws that protect land rights for women, particularly in the form of inheritance.
But it’s been hard to get the word out, and there are gaps in knowledge and communication—brought on by both lack of awareness, and discrimination—that are preventing women, half the world’s population, from accessing land. (Right now women only own 20% of the world’s land). The Stand for Her Land campaign wants to close the gap between the letter of the law, and its practice in reality—to help guarantee women’s equal rights to property and economic security.
“These new laws and the policies are a tremendous first step,” explains Jennifer Abrahamson, Chief of Advocacy & Communications at Landesa, one of the global partners in the campaign. “And it’s thanks to the people who live and breathe these issues in their own country, day to day, that they exist,” she adds.
“But we felt collectively as a group of global organizations—along down the line from the grassroots up to the multilateral—that there was a need for a collective push to begin closing that stubborn gap for good. The laws are really only as good as their implementation at the end of the day.”
Landesa is one of five core partners in the campaign, including the Global Land Tool Network , Habitat for Humanity, the Huairou Commission, and the World Bank. Together, these partners form a steering committee that aims to provide resources and advocacy tools for local groups working on land rights issues in their country. The campaign is just getting started—right now the steering committee is doing everything from planning events, finding funders, setting up systems, building relationships with potential country coalitions, and playing a facilitator role to the launch of Stand for Her Land’s first pilot country: Tanzania.
Read more about the "Stand for Her Land" campaign by Amber Cortes at Global WA.