"Land is a foundation for women's dignity, for meeting basic needs, for economic survival and social empowerment.

Over the past seven years, the Huairou Commission Land and Housing Campaign has provided a unique platform to establish grassroots women as key constituents in the land and property rights debate across the globe. The results have demonstrated that grassroots women-led strategies can stop asset stripping and land grabbing, reverse evictions, and influence effective implementation of land policies and programs that work for grassroots women and are grounded in evidence-based monitoring.

As members of the Huairou Commission, women develop a power base founded on community organizing, and skills and knowledge transfer. Their work is grounded in a holistic framework and approach, based both on community asset development strategies and a human rights approach to land and property issues. These women witness as their peers establish concrete examples of the power of grassroots women to anchor strategies and advocacy gains, towards significantly improving women's own lives and the realities of their communities.

Land Quote

The Huairou Commission’s Global Strategy 2012-2015, Women, Land and Development (WLD) is based on a vision that merges two ideas:

  • Women leading change - Empowering women to be agents of their own development
  • Land for development - Recognition that land is a necessary (while not sufficient) condition for development

Land is a foundation for dignity, for meeting basic needs, for economic survival and social empowerment, equally important to women living in rural, peri-urban and urban areas.  Among the institutions seeking to advance the rights and opportunities of women, WLD makes a distinct contribution by being grassroots based, led and governed.

The groups working on the land campaign have identified and prioritized a line of action for 2012-2015 that focuses on building the capacity of the members to identify entry points that bring forward women's land issues and locate them within a diverse development agenda. Resilience building and climate change is a key entry point in the nexus of the land for development strategy.


Grassroots women are opening up new space for participation in the global dialogue on issues of land and property at this year's Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, which started yesterday and lasts until Thursday, April 11. This year is the first time the conference agenda includes a session specifically focused on the grassroots: a Grassroots Roundtable. The roundtable session, co-facilitated by HC Chair Jan Peterson, aims to show how grassroots practices and grassroots women's organizing ground policy work around land and property in lived experiences and the priorities of the most marginalized communities. 


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