The Landesa Innovation in West Bengal | Land Portal
Strengthening Women's Land Rights Through Self Help Groups

Resource information

Date of publication: 
February 2021
Resource Language: 
Pages: 
9
License of the resource: 

Context

  • Women agricultural producers, despite their significant participation and contribution to farming, are not recognized as farmers in official policy, and the society is not ready to accept them as farmers in their own right. Apart from the absence of their names in land records and poor legal awareness, women also suffer from gender biases in a patriarchal land administration and agricultural service environment.

Interventions

  • Building on an earlier partnership with the Land Revenue Department in West Bengal to provide land literacy training, Landesa, an international non-governmental organization (NGO), assisted the State Rural Livelihoods Mission to upscale land rights training for women’s self-help group (SHG) members and enhance their access to land related services and entitlements.
  • This training enhanced women’s awareness of the land laws governing inheritance and on updating land records with women’s names. Trained local SHG leaders could digitally interact with the State portal to update their land records. Frontline land administration staff also increased their understanding of and sensitivity to women’s land rights.
  • West Bengal State Rural Livelihoods Mission (WBSRLM) and Landesa have also assisted SHGs to access agricultural land through informal leases for contract farming.

Lessons

  • A government-NGO partnership can enable innovation and impact at scale when the legal and institutional potential are leveraged with added capacity. The WBSRLM’s established SHG network and the state’s land digital platform combined with Landesa’s technical expertise built the capacity of SHGs. It helped women in viewing and lodging applications to update land records and add their names.
  • Building local capacity can inclusively deliver critical land services at scale, sustainably. The identification of SHG leaders as lead trainers enabled the program to quickly scale up.
  • Improving the gender responsiveness of frontline land administration can improve land revenue service delivery to women and enhance their land rights.
  • Groups of women farmers can have better access to farmland leases than individuals.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Authors: Pranab Ranjan Choudhury, Pravanjan Mohapatra
Series editor: Mercedes Stickler
Publication Design & Illustrations: Navin Kumar Amang

Publisher(s): 

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