The Thomson Reuters Foundation and the World Bank partnered to better understand legal frameworks that affect women’s ability to access resources, with a particular focus on the legal and cultural barriers to women’s secure land rights. It covered both statutory and customary law, with a particular focus on how laws work in practice. This work should be seen as complementing other gender and law resources such as the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law Database: http://wbl.worldbank.org/. The work was carried out through the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono service, TrustLaw Connect, which brought the international law firm Latham & Watkins together with local firms in Bangladesh, Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, North Sudan and the Republic of Zambia (the case study countries). This work is part of a broader World Bank study exploring determinants of women’s voice, agency and participation, and the implications for policies and programs.
This note highlights some initial findings, specifically those related to legal restrictions on women’s right to own and control land and property in the eight case study countries.