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PROJECT INFORMATION SHEET Empowering Women for Women (W4W) : Access to Land for Sustainable Peace in Nepal

Land issue was one of the primary drivers of ten years of armed conflict in Nepal. The conflict has devastated thousands of lives and properties in the country. In 2006, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed and both the CPA and the 2007 Interim Constitution committed to implement a scientific land reform for resolving land-related disputes and to move Nepal’s peace process forward. Nonetheless after over eight years of signing of the agreement, land reform in Nepal remains far from implementa-tion and land issues still prevail equally complex and contentious.

Like in many countries, Nepal also faces signifi-cant challenges in regards to equal access to land and security of tenure for women. Accord-ing to the High Level Scientific Land Reform Commission report, women are responsible for almost 61% of agricultural production, yet only around 20% of women own around 5% of land throughout Nepal, and only around 11% have effective control over their property.

Women are still a minority in land related dis-cussions and policy making processes and are generally excluded from the resolution of con-flicts over usage and ownership of land, at both community and national levels. On the other hand, land insecurity and difficult access to land ownership have proven to fuel a vicious circle of pervasive poverty and tensions in many differ-ent situations in Nepal.

The conflict and subsequent internal and exter-nal migration fluxes has caused a significant shift in household gender roles and responsibilities throughout the region. Most importantly, given the thousands of cases of disappearances, physi-cal injuries and deaths during the conflict, the number of de facto female headed households, as well as women taking a lead role in cultiva-tion and other land use matters, has significantly increased.