Women's access to land is a fundamental factor in food security. Yet women all over the world suffer under discriminatory property and inheritance laws and customary practices which restrict their rights over the land on which they live and work. Articles 15 and 16 of CEDAW state the rights of women to property and inheritance. This report is a tool to help non-governmental organisations and multilateral agencies in advocacy and policy dialogue using CEDAW and the Optional Protocol (which allows individuals and groups to make complaints directly to the CEDAW committee). It reviews a number of reports from low income countries relating to: legislation on equal access to land, property, inheritance and legal rights; statistics on the rural labour force; and gender focal points in technical ministries. Recommendations on how to use the country reporting procedures include the need for: identification of the gaps between formal laws and customary practices; better statistical information on rural women and rural institutions; and better information on CEDAW and its processes.

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