After the Floods

Women’s Access to Property and Land Rights in Northern Sindh

A project presentation of Sewa Development Trust Sindh , 2011

"Village after village - washed away. Roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, homes - destroyed. Crops and livelihoods - wiped out”

– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to the General Assembly, August 2010

Devastation on an Unimaginable Scale

SEWA-women-in-sheltersLast summer, floods devastated 19 districts of Sindh Province, Pakistan.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) officials have said the disaster eclipsed the scale of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, and the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti put together.

According to Sindh's Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA),  seven million people are affected in Sindh, and some 7,277 villages with population of 7,000,491 people – including women and children, are at the risk of being submerged.

A total of 1,060,680 houses have been damaged and/or destroyed.

Many families have moved in with relatives in other districts. During the devastation, 909 persons were injured or disabled, and 186 persons died. 2,453,503 acres of crop were affected, with land of 6,818,209 acres.

Marking of the land for particular owners/farmers has vanished due to flooding.

In some cases, s whole settlement was flattened by the flood, leaving no signs for defining the household plots and farming areas.

Increased Risk for Corruption and Exploitation

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It is feared that most of the people lost their land/property documents, and this may be an opportunity for corrupt persons to exploit female-headed households for manipulation when they will approach them for land/property ownership documents.

In view of the above it seems necessary to build the capacity of the local grass root organizations and local community to cope with these issues.

The women – especially female-headed households, are the vulnerable groups; they face violence and gender discriminations at  all levels.

It is important to inform these groups about their rights, and get necessary support from the government agencies ,as per priority.

Project Goal

flood36To create an environment for women-head households and land owners, and women at risk  that they may enjoy equal rights through mobilization, information,  participation and through the activism of civil society organizations.


1) 20 grassroots level organizations of five districts (Khairpur, Sukkur, Ghotki, Larkana & Qambar Shahdadkot) of northern Sindh have increased capacity, awareness, and knowledge towards gender-based violence and women rights issues, and also mechanisms for women to have access to quality services for property and land rights within nine months.

2) Immediate support services (counseling and legal aid) ensured through district property and land rights working groups in 5 districts of Northern Sindh, and 50 women will receive aid in reclaiming land titles.

3) Increased public awareness towards concepts and traditions of masculinity in order to facilitate better understanding the societal, biological, social, cultural, economic, and structural factors.

Also, document and record cases of female-headed households and landowners in 5 district of northern Sindh.

Target Groups and Beneficiaries

The target groups are

  1. local grass root organizations and
  2. Female headed households and women owners of the land.

The target number of beneficiaries are:

  1. 20 local grass root organizations (40 members -20 male & 20 female)
  2. 50 women receive their land titles.
  3. Others (500 male 350 female and 460 children)

Participation of Local Organisations

SEWA-flood-childrenThe project has been planned to be implemented with the active participation of local organizations that are active at grassroots levels for women focused projects and activities.

These CBO’s (community-based orgnanisation) capacity will be enhanced through different trainings, and a strong coordination will be developed to meet the project goal and objectives.

The selected CBO’s will be participants in the project implementation process.

In the project, SDTS has planned to involve different stakeholders and service providers to victimized women, i.e. revenue department, district government, community development department, media, and lawyers. They will be mobilized to play their active and responsible role in project implementation.

SDTS will document the case studies of women land titles in five project districts in the shape of reports, and will present and share these reports in public through media coverage and by circulating these reports to other stakeholders.

Moving Forward

District Property & Land rights Working group

A five-district property & land rights working group will be formed at district level consisting of different important stakeholders.

The lawyer will also sit in the working group as member.  The committee will be working on the provision of legal aid and counseling to the land titles to women. The committee will ensure justice and support services for all women who need land titles.

Training and capacity building

The participating organizations will be trained in basic skills needed to work on women rights and gender based violence. Trainings will be organized for SDTS project staff and 20 local organizations responsible for implementation of the project activities.

Awareness Raising and Social Mobilization

Awareness-raising activities will be implemented by the participating organizations. 

The  costs of all the activities undertaken by the participating organizations will be reimbursed by the SDTS.

SDTS will ensure its participation in all the activities and compile the database/record of all activities.

Publications will also be published for raising awareness on the issue of women land rights.

Support Service to Female households

flood7At least fifty (50) female headed households will get reclaiming their land titles and others will be linked with other government and non-government organizations for their support under government-announced schemes.

Documentation, Baseline Survey and Media Participation

To document case studies of the female households and women land owners regarding land  titles and entitlements.

A baseline survey will be conducted with semi-structured questionnaires in the targeted districts to map the data regarding GBV and females  who lost their land documents, and identify the data for eligible women to get support from government institutions.

SDTS will involve media through writing articles in the local newspapers and in district working group.

Involving the Media

SDTS will publicize the project interventions through publications and media.

The media will be participating in the district property and land rights working group as a member, and will be encouraged to have articles on the women issues.

The awareness sessions will be publicized through banners and media coverage – and also the  internet and social media will be used for project interventions.

Long Term Sustainability

The project activities have been designed in a way that it will be sustainable project after its completion.

The project focuses on mobilization, awareness raising and capacity-building of local organizations and stakeholders. The district property and land rights working group will be  established in all 5 districts, and that will be trained and capacitated enough to continue the work.

The CBOs are trained in the skills to work on GBV especially for women rights and issues. They will continue working on awareness-raising and legal aid within their existing resources.

They will also be trained in mobilizing resources from external resources to enhance their activities.

The media will also be motivated to continue organizing the talk shows on awareness raising and psychosocial covering women rights themes.

The project will mobilize maximum assurance of local government to improve the service delivery for the victims of land ownership.