USAID/Ethiopia’s Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) Project recently developed a Gender Assessment and Action Plan (GAAP) that will assist the project to identify root causes of existing gender inequalities or obstacles to female empowerment. The GAAP will assist project design and help identify opportunities to promote women’s leadership and participation. Moreover, the GAAP will provide USAID and the LAND technical team with a better understanding of how cultural and community norms related to power dynamics, resource access and control, decision making, and participation (or lack of participation) in civil society impact women and men within the context of LAND’s project activities. This understanding will be used to design gender-responsive project activities and monitoring and evaluation criteria that will indicate the extent to which the activities are implemented. The GAAP examined the following issues:
- Biases of customary practices and formal and informal justice systems in relation to women’s land and resources rights;
- How gender relations shape, control, and mediate access to and control over valuable resources;
- How securing land tenure and property rights for women complements other development objectives, including improving food security, economic growth, and global climate change;
- Relationship of gender inequity to poverty and access to resources and financing;
- Roles played by women and men in different aspects of land and resource management and household livelihoods; and
- Current practices related to land administration and land use planning and whether these practices are serving men and women equally.
International Gender Expert Renee Giovarelli conducted extensive field research in Ethiopia to develop the GAAP, assisted by Land Administration Expert Ms. Hirut Girma and Gender Specialist Ms. Medhanit Adamu, who conducted focus group discussions with Ministry officials and women pastoralists in Somali, Afar, and Oromia regions in September and October 2013.
The GAAP will set out findings, requirements, activities, and monitoring and evaluation criteria that will lead to integration of gender equality into LAND’s programming and ensure that LAND does not negatively impact women and that it delivers benefits equally to all LAND stakeholders in support of Ethiopia’s development objectives. It is expected the GAAP will be finalized at the end of November 2013.