The challenges in accessing land faced by women in the Muslim world do not substantially differ from those faced by women in other parts of the world. Various factors, including socially prescribed gender roles, unequal power dynamics at household and community level, discriminatory family practices, unequal access to justice, institutions and land administration processes, traditional norms and local tenure relationships serve as a barrier to women’s tenure rights. However, 20 per cent of the world’s population is Muslim and certain land-related patterns reflecting customary and religious practices emerge as common elements that create context-specific opportunities to meet these challenges. In this report, Global Land Tool Network partners investigate these common elements, the international legal frameworks, national laws and a wide range of country experiences to promote women’s access to land in the Muslim world. This report provides practical and evidence-based guidance on how to improve women’s access to land in the specific context of the Muslim world. The emphasis is on analysing the different types of land tenure options available and how to strengthen them in the short-tomedium term, while pursuing longer and more transformative change at the policy, legal, and implementation levels. Special attention is given to the protection of women’s land rights through inheritance – as this constitutes the main avenue through which women in the Muslim world can access land ownership – and at the time of marriage, when the land and property regime of the family is redefined.
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