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01 Sep 2016

Barriers to Women's Land and Property Access and Ownership in Nepal

A number of studies have suggested that strengthening women’s rights to land and property not only enhances their bargaining power within their family and community, but also contributes to greater agricultural productivity and household welfare through better nutrition and food security. In addition, securing land and property rights of women also contribute to reducing domestic violence. While it has been established that women’s ownership of land and property can have far-reaching positive impacts, these rights are not easily realized, and women in Nepal remain significantly less likely than men to own land and property. According to the population census of 2011, only in 19.71 per cent of the households in the country, women have ownership of land and property.

This report analyses significant barriers that women in Nepal are facing in accessing land and property. In addition to identifying the gaps and loopholes in the legal framework, the report also identifies institutional, sociocultural, structural, administrative and institutional barriers, including knowledge and information gaps to women’s right to land and property. The report also reviews experiences in terms of constitutional and legal interventions of four neighbouring South Asian countries in relation to women’s land and property rights. Lastly, the report provides a set of recommendations to the Government of Nepal, as well as community-based organizations in addressing the identified barriers for promoting women’s rights to land and property in Nepal.