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Women’s Land Rights and Conservation

2013 April

Ethiopian women (Source: IFPRI/Apollo Habtamu)

As posted earlier, Agnes Quisumbing and Neha Kumar presented preliminary results on a study examining the impacts of land registration on tree planting and soil conservation in Ethiopia at the World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty. On Earth Day, the results beginning to emerge from this study are a reminder of the importance of understanding gender differences in order to effectively deal with the effects of climate change worldwide, and particularly for the poor.  For instance, the results show that men's and women's knowledge of land rights have different implications for the type of soil conservation techniques adopted. Furthermore, because many of these techniques are labor intensive and female-headed households tend to have less family labor available, they are less likely to adopt them. As highlighted in a recent blog post introducing the WB's Africa Gender Innovation Lab, this type of research that delves into the differences between men and women -- in this case, related to agriculture and conservation -- is what will allow us to address the causes rather than the symptoms of gender inequality.