Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Davina Durgana

Second Advisor

Nanette Barkey


This Independent Practitioner Inquiry Capstone sought to uncover whether women in their respective communities in India experience improvements in income, education, health, food security and their livelihoods, if said women farmers are able to secure the rights to both their land and other productive assets. The study used a comparative analysis to highlight the state of women’s land rights in India, in conjunction with a selection of best practices relevant to the context and analyzing a case study assessing the impact of one organization’s women’s land rights efforts in particular: The Human Development and Research Center’s Swabhoomi Kendra Center in Meghraj, India. The research used secondary and primary data collection methods, through a literature review highlighting linkages between women’s land tenure security and improved social and economic outcomes. Additionally, interviews with stakeholders from The Human Development and Research Center’s Swabhoomi Kendra Meghraj Center were done to gather further insight into the research. The research uncovered several findings: (i) patriarchal inheritance structures and spaces often obstruct women from realizing their land rights, (ii) while central and state governments have made progressive reforms to work towards gender-equitable land tenure security, gaps in implementation still exist (iii) there was an absence of robust, gender disaggregated land ownership data and (iv) despite these barriers, some notable practices have emerged as vital to the effectiveness of interventions. The paper will then shift into a reflection on insights and lessons learned, such as working to localize legal, infrastructural and institutional mechanisms, and prioritizing the collection of quantitative, gender-disaggregated data. The paper concludes with a discourse regarding recommendations, and the implications sustainable development practitioners should consider for women’s land tenure security interventions throughout India.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Environmental Studies | Food Studies


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