Property and land ownership and women’s entrepreneurship - ESCWA
13 December 2021

Beirut time

Expert Group Meeting

Property and land ownership and women’s entrepreneurship

  • Online
Contact information

In the Arab region, women’s inheritance and property ownership rights are protected by law. However, in practice, women’s ownership of property and land is minimal compared to that of men. Many countries in the region are making reform efforts to protect women’s inheritance and secure women’s land rights. Excluding women from land and property ownership impacts both equity and equality; when women do not have access to property or land, they are less likely to be employed or to be entrepreneurs.

A draft study by ESCWA entitled “Property and Land Ownership and Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Arab Region” investigates the link between property ownership and women’s entrepreneurship in the Arab region, with a specific focus on Jordan and Egypt.

The Expert Group Meeting aims to engage expert opinions on the draft study; validate the study’s findings; and collectively develop recommendations for member States in the Arab region.

Outcome document

Participants were positive about the research undertaken including the theoretical framework and methodology.

They recommended that to take this work forward would require further research, including qualitative data, relating to entrepreneurship and property ownership.

The EGM started with a brief overview of the conceptual framework and methodology.

Participants commented on the study and found it to be appropriate for use. They grappled with concepts of entrepreneurship (such as opportunity v necessity entrepreneurship), and the control of property as opposed to just the ownership. The suggestions mostly related to further interrogating these definitions and concepts.

Session 2 presented the findings relating to (1) the larger study, and (2) a policy brief on access to loans for women entrepreneurs in Jordan.

Participants acknowledged the overall lack of data in this area. They recommended collecting qualitative data with banks and women entrepreneurs to understand both perspectives, including barriers to financing. In terms of land, participants recommended better understanding how the perception of land tenure impacts women’s ability to leverage the land for ownership.

Session 3 aimed to develop recommendations on the way forward.

Participants commented on understating the goals of policymakers when proposing policy recommendations, further understanding the needs of women entrepreneurs, such as capacity building. 

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