1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development

Land Reform and Social Policy with a Focus on Women’s Rights (Draft)



Contemporary social policy seeks to ensure the rights of citizens to certain basic minimum entitlements. It goes beyond social protection of the ‘most vulnerable’ to seek transformation in social relations more broadly. Land reform has historically had a similar objective – to address social inequality by making the agrarian structure more equitable through land redistribution and tenancy reforms. In both cases, attention has been largely on locational (rural-urban) and class inequalities; with at best a passing reference to gender or other demographic characteristics.

Nitya Rao is Professor of Gender and Development at the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia and external research coordinator for the UNRISD project, "When and Why do States Respond to Women's Claims?"