Publications > Poverty Times #1 > Women’s rights

Poverty Times #1

Women’s rights

Property ownership and poor credit
Getting credit or loans is difficult, if not impossible, for poor women who do nothave proof of property ownership or sufficient stable income (collateral is requiredby most lending institutions). By  Ma. Sn.

Land rights and patriarchal control

Women are responsible for most household work (and in many parts of the world the majority of agricultural production), but women’s rights to own land or control resources are constrained, often by traditional customs and religious laws. In societies with patriarchal land ownership women, when widowed or divorced, are often driven off land or denied future access to land and resources on which they rely (1).

1. Modules on gender, population and rural development with a focus on land tenure & farming system, FAO, Rome, 1995.

Guardians and gurus of biodiversity

In many agricultural and gathering communities, women select and preserve seeds and gather a wide variety of plants. Vegetable, tree and flower species diversity help ensure that different species can grow under various climatic and soil conditions and in turn help communities through periods of variable rainfall and food shortages.

The manufacturing of genetically engineered seeds (that cannot be replanted etc.) threatens the role women play to maintain biodiversity. Companies that seek gene patents are exploiting women’s genetic indigenous knowledge (1).

Ma. Sn.

1. The Jo’burg-Memo: Fairness in a Fragile World, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin, 2002.