Changing/providing land use certificates with names of both wife and husband

In the past, a Land use certificate (LUC) granted to a household was typically written with the name of the head of the family as the household reppreventative instead of names of both spouses. in most cases, husbands are the heads of families and only their names are written in the LUCs. This to some extent negatively influences women's equity in terms of their rights and benefits as land users. Also, women have a less decisive voice in land related matters in their families.

lmplementing the revised Land Law approved by the National Assembly in November 2003, the pilot project "Changing/providing Land use certificates with names of both wife and husband in \/Vietnam" carried out by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has objectives to (i) improve awareness of local people in terms of gender equity in a land management and land use right context via a communication campaign and (ii) carry out an activity to change/provide land use certificates with name of both wife and husband in 20 selected poor communes belonging to 20 different provinces throughout the country.

All of the sites selected to implement the project were located in rural areas and categorized as poor and backward communes with rather low awareness levels. Many of the communes have a high percentage of ethnic populations among 25,249 households living in project areas, 11,678 households, (46.25%), are ethnic minorities; 12 communes have high percentage of ethnic minorities that reaches over 75% the population, including 4 communes with 100% ethnic minority people. All 20 communes have already implemented land allocation of agricultural, forest and residential land. LUC issuance had been implemented in 18 communes before the start of the project with 35,039 LUC issued to land users, including 29,771 LUC with husbands' names o­nly (84.97%) and 5,268 LUC bearing the name of the wife o­nly (15,03%). No LUC had the names of both wife and husband.

The project to provide new LUCS was carried out from 2004. All 20 communes have successfully implemented the plan of changing/providing LUC with an average of 1,700 LUC changed or amended per commune. Among 25,249 households, 19,230 households have been provided with newly issued or amended LUCS, accounting for 76.16% of all households. The reason a number of households had no change in LUC was due time limitations and the fact that households in some communes had not satisfied all requirements for changing/providing LUCs. The total number of changed/provided LUCs is 35,842.

After completion of the changing/providing LUC plan, the number of LUC with names of both wife and husband makes up 91.23 % of the total LUCs, while the number of LUC with names of o­nly husbands has been reduced to 1.50 %. Taking into account LUCS with names of both wife and husband or o­nly women as household representatives, the total proportion of LUCs bearing names of women is 95.70% of all LUC changed or amended.

lt is clear that the communication campaign and the work of changing providing LUC with names of both wife and husband have improved awareness level of both local officials and the general public Citizens are now more aware of rights and obligations of land users as well as social equity in the land administration context. This outcome can contribute to increasing the value of having a LUC, in particular as security for a bank loan, and provide better opportunities for investment and poverty reduction.

According to the Evaluation Report of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment "Changing /providing Land Use Certificates with names of both wife and husband in Vietnam ".