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Empowering women, reducing child poverty and enabling women to inherit

12th October, 2010
Overseas Development Institute, London, UK




This meeting will present an overview of new research into inheritance practice and its impact on how wealth (and poverty) is transmitted from one generation to another. It will explore ways that inheritance policy and practice can be made more equitable and will hear from practitioners about their work to empower women and improve the life-chances of them and their children.

Assets can be an important source of social mobility and in low income developing countries land is the key asset. It is the primary source of wealth, social status, and power and provides the basis for shelter, food, and economic activities. Conversely, limited access to and control of land can restrict livelihood opportunities; constrain coping strategies in the face of negative events and inhibit investments in human capital formation. In many developing countries women rarely have independent property rights, instead they access productive assets through their fathers, husbands or adult sons. Land is commonly obtained through inheritance but women are rarely allowed to inherit land. This influences their ability to make independent decisions and, particularly if widowed or divorced, limits their ability to feed and educate their children.

Speakers and schedule

Key speakers include:

  • Kate Bird,  Research Associate, ODI and CPRC
  • Fati Alhassan, Director, Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation & the Huairou Commission, Ghana
  • Angela Langenkamp, Gender and Youth Expert, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ)
  • Meryem Aslan, Afghanistan Country Director, UNIFEM

Chair: Andrew Norton, Research Director, ODI

Event website

German Technical Cooperation


Meeting reports

ODI meeting report available here 


Resources and links

Related themes