Measuring Property Rights: Gender, Land and Asset Survey

Project Duration

2007 - 2013

Project Countries

South Africa ,Uganda

Project issues/theme

Assets and Property Rights, Economic Opportunity & Security

Lead Project Partners

Associates for Development, Uganda; University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

ICRW Project Director

Krista Jacobs


The Gender, Land and Asset Survey was developed and piloted by ICRW and its partners, Associates Research Uganda, Limited and the University of KwaZulu-Natal to measure the full spectrum of women’s and men’s property rights – including ownership, use, control and decision making over land, housing and productive assets, such as small farm equipment. The first round of the survey interviewed more than 2,000 men and women in South Africa and Uganda about their relationship to property. The survey was able to quantitatively demonstrate differences not only in women’s and men’s ownership of assets but also differences in documentation and decision-making and point to different socioeconomic factors and life-cycle stages that influence women’s property rights. The second round of the Gender, Land and Asset Survey focuses on understanding the nature of ownership, use, and decision-making within couples living in a context of customary land tenure.

As a pioneer in the effort to quantify women’s property rights on a large scale, ICRW is using the findings of this survey to demonstrate the links among property rights, women’s empowerment and domestic violence; to promote more widespread and rigorous measurement of gendered asset rights; and to identify policies that can improve women’s rights over land and assets.

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