Colombia · 14 March, 2019

EUROsociAL+ promotes access to justice and land for rural women in Colombia

The Colombian Peace Agreement and the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recognise the need to improve the rights of rural women

EUROsociAL+ is helping the Ministry of Justice and Law of Colombia to implement mechanisms that ensure timely, agile access to justice for the rural population living in poverty, with legal advice and specific training for women regarding their rights and access to justice, and measures to overcome the barriers that hinder recognition and protection of women’s property rights.

This action is part of the Peace Agreement in Colombia, whose first point contains the “Integral Rural Reform” that aims to democratise access to land to benefit farmers and rural women who have no or insufficient land, and the rural communities most affected by poverty, abandonment and conflict.

The Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) also recognises the need to better protect rural women’s human rights since despite the vital role of women in agriculture and rural development, policies and initiatives often omit the gender perspective. Rural women account for 25% of the world’s population. According to the most recent census, there are almost five million of these women in Colombia —10% of the country’s population— who play a decisive role in maintaining and improving rural ways of life and strengthening rural communities.

Through the EUROsociAL+ regional technical cooperation programme, the European Union has been addressing this problem in Colombia since 2018, designing and preparing a diagnosis to pinpoint the main obstacles hindering access to justice and land encountered by rural women in this country. This diagnosis was also a starting point for group debates and participative work to design a mechanism that will give rural women and their organisations access to justice, with participation by justice and agrarian sector institutions, the Presidential Council for the Equality of Women, and rural women’s organisations.

Colombia also shared South-South experiences with Guatemala and El Salvador, two countries that overcame an armed conflict and made agrarian reforms after signing their respective Peace Accords.

The implementation phase of the mechanism to give rural women access to justice working on rural women’s rights and strengthening their organisations.

This EUROsociAL+ action combines the work of the areas concerned with democratic governance in FIIAPP and gender equality in Expertise France in a fine example of intersectoral cooperation.

Área de políticas de gobernanza democrática. Democratic governance area / EUROsociAL+

Country: Colombia
SDG: Gender equality, Peace, justice and strong institutions
Policy area: Democratic governance policies