The adverse impacts of commercialization and largescale land acquisitions in the global South are often disproportionately borne by women. The loss of access to farmland and common areas hit women harder than men in many communities, and women are often excluded from compensation and benefit schemes. Women's social disadvantages, including their lack of formal land rights and generally subordinate position, make it difficult for them to voice their interests in the management and proposed allocation of community land to investors. While the development community and civil society have pushed for standards and safeguard policies that promote the meaningful involvement of rural communities generally in land acquisitions and investments, strengthening the participation of women as a distinct stakeholder group requires specific attention.
This working paper examines options for strengthening women's participatory rights in the face of increasing commercial pressures on land in three countries: Mozambique, Tanzania, and the Philippines. It focuses on how regulatory reform—reforms in the rules, regulations, guidelines, and procedures that implement national land acquisition and investment laws—can promote gender equity and allow women to realize the rights afforded by national legal frameworks and international standards. The paper stems from a collaborative project between World Resources Institute and partner organizations in the three countries studied.