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A piece of land, a piece of hope: Char Development and Settlement Project (CDSP) – Phase IV, Bangladesh

Secure access to land for poor women and men living on newly created coastal islands – known locally as “chars” – in Bangladesh is one of many benefits resulting from the Char Development and Settlement Project. Over 11,800 families have been granted land titles, and a further 2,200 are in the process of doing so.

The 143 communities with 29,000 households in the chars are vulnerable to cyclones and storm surges, floods and drainage congestion, droughts and salinity intrusion, erosion and deteriorating ecosystems. The chars are also culturally and socially conservative, leading to profound gender inequalities that affect the well-being of women. Then there is the issue of the illegal nature of land occupation, which results in a high degree of lawlessness and the risks of loss and physical harm for char settlers, especially women.

The land titles are registered in the names of both wife and husband, with equal ownership shares. And the wife is named first on the title, which means th…

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