The focus of this year’s Desertification and Drought Day, marked worldwide on 17 June, is on women’s land rights as a key element of achieving the connected global goals of gender equality and land degradation neutrality by 2030. Indeed, while land is the most critical economic resource for most rural poor, women around the world are less likely to own or control land than men, which exposes them to poverty, hunger, gender-based violence and displacement.
“Women are major actors in the global efforts to reduce and reverse land degradation. They restore land, they protect land, they cherish, nourish and care for the land, while also caring for others. However, in the vast majority of countries, women have unequal and limited access to and control over land. We cannot achieve land degradation neutrality without gender equality, and we cannot exclude half the population from land management decisions because of their gender.” – Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary
Investing in women’s equal access to land and associated assets is a direct investment in their future and the future of humanity. UNCCD’s first goal of Desertification and Drought Day 2023 is to raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of desertification, land degradation and droughts on women and girls and the obstacles they face in decision making on land issues.
This year’s global observance of Desertification and Drought Day will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, with events taking place in all parts of the world.
Together with UN partners and civil society, UN are launching the campaign #HerLand to recognize excellence and leadership in sustainable land management by women and girls; amplify the voices of women and girls living on the frontlines of desertification, land degradation and drought and call to action for stronger women’s leadership and decision-making power to advocate for issues affecting women in the context of desertification, land degradation and drought.
You too can lend your support by reaching out to your communities and advocating the key role of gender equality in empowering women and girls to be at the forefront of global land restoration and drought resilience efforts. We invite you to discover more and join: https://www.unccd.int/land-and-life/gender/herland