empowering women

Innovative tools are empowering women access land in Burkina Faso


  • Tenure insecurity is a key obstacle to sustainable rural development in sub-Saharan Africa, and women are most affected by it.
  • Most land in rural Burkina Faso is still managed under customary law. Due to lacking financial resources and a consequently limited number of land governance institutions at the sub-national level, the land reform hasn’t been formalized resulting in asymmetric access to land rights.
  • Voluntarily negotiated intra-household tenure arrangements are an innovative process that secures land-use rights for women building on traditional systems of land governance. The core component is voluntarily negotiated intra-household tenure arrangements.

Intra-household tenure arrangements

The instrument piloted by GRAF and TMG Think Tank aims to empower and secure women’s access to land and is well adapted to socio-cultural conditions in a specific context.

Thanks to its resource efficiency and the possibility to implement it in the absence of formal land governance institutions, this instrument offers good prospects for replication and up-scaling.

The process of voluntary intra-household tenure arrangements could be perfectly integrated within wider landscape restoration initiatives. Securing land rights for disadvantaged groups and promoting sustainable land management (SLM) practices in an integrated way is crucial in pursuing the principle of “leaving no one behind”.

The implementation of the innovation tool in the village followed a step-wise approach: 

Awareness-raising on the economic benefits of women’s secured access to land for the entire family

Negotiations of tenure agreements on duration and size of land and rules of breach of the agreement

GPS referencing and documentation of the secured plots

Validation of intra-household tenure agreements by the village assembly


Author: TMG

Publisher: TMG – Think Tank

Language: English

Year: 2020

Ecosystem(s): Agricultural Land

Location(s): Africa, Burkina Faso

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