case study

Launching a New Approach to Strengthen Women's Rights


The Challenge

In most developing countries, women’s rights to land and resources are key to increasing food security, reducing poverty and mitigating conflict—yet these rights are not secure. Very often, women’s rights to land are weaker than those of men. While many people and institutions working in the land sector are aware of the importance of protecting women’s land rights, too often they do not know how best to engage women in the process of gaining and protecting their land tenure.

Associates Research Uganda, Resource Equity and WORUDET were involved in a program to strengthen women’s land rights, which was piloted in Northern Uganda. Based on their experience, they developed a replicable approach to empower women to realize their rights to land. But land rights is a complicated topic, and communicating the approach to practitioners to convince them to strengthen women’s rights to land required some creative thinking.

Our Approach, Results and Impact

Burness partnered with Associates Research Uganda, Resource Equity and WORUDET to develop a new, externally-focused narrative, along with key messages around a new approach: “Starting with Women.” This approach starts from the view that women in all communities know what they want and need in terms of their land rights, and that with information, guidance and support from one another, they can develop a plan to get what they want and need.

With those messages in hand, we developed an animated video highlighting the approach as a way to securing women’s rights to land. The video kicked off events and discussions, is hosted on partner websites and was shared on social media to reach target audiences. We also developed and designed a brochure that provides an easy reference for the “Starting with Women” approach.

Burness also worked with a Ghanian expert on women and land rights to develop an opinion piece that argues for the need to educate women about their land rights so that they can exercise these rights, ultimately increasing their ability to contribute to the continent’s food security.

Once the video was finalized and the opinion piece placed, we conducted a vibrant social media campaign promoting the “Starting with Women” animated video and opinion piece which amplified the reach of this approach to practitioners working on land both in public and private sectors.

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