Connecting Rights to Reality: A Progressive Framework of Core Legal Protections for Women's Property Rights

Published: June 2007

This document presents information of how women in many countries are far less likely than men to own property and assets - key tools to gaining economic security and earning higher incomes. Though laws to protect women's property rights exist in most countries, gender and cultural constraints can prevent women from owning or inheriting property. In this series, ICRW suggests practical steps to promote, protect and fulfill women's property rights.

Key Findings

  • Most countries have taken the crucial first step by constitutionally guaranteeing equal protection for women and men and women's right to own property.
  • Several countries, particularly post-conflict countries, have begun to build equality provisions into statutes regulating inheritance, land and tenure reform, women's access to marital property, or divorce and spousal succession.
  • Only a handful of countries have made substantial progress toward instituting a comprehensive framework of provisions that codify women's rights and protect these rights in reality.

Populations Women

Publishers International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

Geographic Focus Africa, Asia, North America (Caribbean), South America-Latin America