In this blog from CGIAR research program on Water, Land and Ecosystems, anthropologist Liza Debevec discusses women empowerment in matrilineal societies. Contrary to common belief, matrilineal doesn't mean that the power lies in the hands of women. Through collective action however, women can have more power and make positive socio-cultural transformations. It also shows that land ownership is not enough if women lack knowledge or access to other assets and markets that allow them to productively exploit the land. In this case, women's farming association devised a labor exchange with men to overcome the challenge.