Women’s access and rights to land and property in Pakistan

In Pakistan, livelihoods of rural men and women revolve around arable land. Land as an asset is one of the basic physical resources which provide food, space for livestock and home. It is also a source of security and power. In fact land ownership is an important determinant of social status in rural and urban areas across the country. The landmark Participatory Poverty Assessment study, identified non-ownership of land as a key factor of poverty. However the reality is that less than half of rural households in Pakistan own any agricultural land and 40 percent of the land is owned by 2.5 percent of households While any examination of women’s land and property rights has to be within the context of the above skewed pattern of land ownership in the country, women are further marginalised in suffer discrimination in accessing land. This paper, part of a wider research study under the Rural Poverty and Environment program, attempts to understand gender, and social and power relations that govern women’s land and property rights, their access and control over land and other related resources. It seeks to identify: a) key critical issues in the area of women and land/resource tenure, b) key organizations engaged in research and/or action on the issue of gender and land tenure, and c) areas of future research.

Mumtaz, Khawar and Meher M. Noshirwani
Source publication: 
A Scoping Study, International Development Research Centre. Available at