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Working Group for Women Land Ownership (WGWLO)

The WGWLO has been working since 2002 with the goal of promoting the land rights of women in Gujarat. The organisation is actually a network of NGOs and CBOs that work together to achieve their goal. Since their inception, they have “worked to advance women’s land rights; their identity as women farmers; and their access to productive resources and entitlements.”

One of the primary strategies of the network is the use of community-based paralegal workers and local resource centres (Swa-Bhoomi Kendras). These are active in over 225 villages in Gujarat, involving women farmers from marginalised communities (including tribal and pastoralist communities).

Over 15,000 women farmers have been reached by the network with messaging on agro-ecological practices which promote diverse cultivation, use of indigenous seed varieties, and long-term food sovereignty.

The network set up a series of seed banks in 2019, storing indigenous seed varieties provided by local farmers and WGWLO members. The initiative involves around 5,000 women farmers, who will be able to feed more seeds back into the community-managed banks for exchange and use in future seasons.

Overall, the WGWLO initiative supports women farmers in marginalised communities to gain access to land and supports local communities in using agro-ecological practices which promote food sovereignty. Emphasis is on traditional, indigenous seed varieties and diversity in cultivation.

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