Gender Equality And Land Law In Cambodia

TitleGender Equality And Land Law In Cambodia
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsThiel F
Secondary TitleFacing the Challenges – Building the Capacity
Place PublishedSydney
Key themesGender, MarginalisedPeople, Policy-law, Urban

The presentation will highlight the importance of establishing knowledge and understanding about “gender mainstreaming” strategies and gender equality within the Cambodian Land Administration Sub Sector Program (LA-SSP) and the land policy. Gender oriented objectives of the LA-SSP comprise of sustainable improvement of the living conditions of the urban and rural population of Cambodia, especially for women. The urban and rural population, in particular women, should make use of the improved infrastructure and the extended scope for action to participate in socio-economic land development to a greater extent. Socially balanced and gender-equitable secure access to land should be improved in rural as well as in urban areas, according to a well-ordered utilisation of land. The legal framework for gender equality in land includes the Constitution from 1993, the Land Law from 2001, and Sub-decrees. 1 million land titles have been issued through systematic registration until 2009 to women and men – 20 % of these titles are done in the wife’s name, 70 % consist of joint titles. Lacking data and a missing “registration culture”, unregistered marriage, and intransparent subsequent land transactions prevent the monitoring and evaluation of gender equality in land administration. A huge gap can be observed between official law, plural legal regimes and general implementation practice. I will offer appropriate solutions for developing cadastral reforms that require an intimate knowledge of the existing conditions in the Cambodian land sector. Cadastral systems should serve all sectors of society and the majority of population. Hence, the State should act in utilitarian ways to give equal opportunities towards access to land via freehold, leasehold and family tenure that could be ensured by cooperatives and associations with optimized gender-oriented shareholder structure. Social land concessions should provide titles to landless and land poor female- headed households in an equitable selecting process for strengthened income generation and agricultural activities for women. According to the concept of utilitarian justice registration, cadastral systems, and formal and informal property regimes serve all sectors of society, in particular women. This has not been the case in Cambodia so far. There is a general agreement on the importance of educating women on their land rights and on the procedures and institutions of land administration and dispute resolution between family members, relatives, siblings and non-married spouses. However, local community action as a cornerstone for land administration involving males and females is still nascent.


Available for download



Document Type

Conference Proceedings