Securing women’s land and property rights in Nepal

News Hour:

Over the years, the Government of Nepal has been introducing several proactive measures to promote women’s access, ownership, and control over land and property.

These measures, depending on the geographical location, include a 25 per cent to 50 per cent tax exemption on registration when land is owned by a woman; a 35 per cent tax exemption for single women (Financial Bill 2072, Ministry of Finance); and joint registration of land in the names of husbands and wives with a fee of Rs. 100 (or less than $1).

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Despite these efforts, only 19.7 per cent of women own around 5 per cent of land throughout Nepal, and only around 11 per cent have effective control over their property.

“Considering that women constitute 51.5 per cent of Nepal’s total population and around 75 per cent of women are engaged in agriculture as their primary occupation, it is ironic to find that women often don’t have ownership of land that they have been tilling for years,” said IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Maurizio Busatti.

“Securing women’s land and property rights in Nepal is crucial to ensure a better future for Nepal. A number of studies across the Asian and African continents have shown that women with access to land and property can enhance their livelihood options. It can contribute to strengthening their bargaining power within the household and the community, as well as reducing domestic violence and providing access to civil and political rights,” he added.

Unfortunately in many parts of the world, women’s rights to land and property are unrecognized and many women remain vulnerable, and almost entirely dependent on the men in their lives for basic economic survival. See an infographic of why securing women’s rights to land and property matter here: http://bit.ly/28YZCv3.

IOM, in partnership with UNDP and UN Habitat, is implementing a joint project: “Empowering Women for Women (W4W): Access to Land for Sustainable Peace in Nepal” that aims to address the issue of access, ownership, and control over land by women through a peacebuilding lens. The project is funded by the UN Peace Building Fund.

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Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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