Scholars have argued that institutional inequities and control over resources are linked to gender-based violence. However, psychologists have yet to reposition their research questions to examine how structural inequities lead to power imbalances and gender-based norms that perpetuate threats to women's health and safety. This study provides a theoretical framework for, and an examination of, hypotheses surrounding the role of land ownership in shifting gender relations and women's receipt of violence that have been posed in the literature but never empirically tested. Surveys conducted in rural Nicaragua revealed that land ownership among women challenges traditional gender ideology and increases women's power and control within the marital relationship, which in turn, reduces levels of violence. The findings have important implications for the discussion of gender-based violence in the context of development and for initiatives that can lead to more equitable policies for women. The study puts psychology at the crossroads of women's human rights, globalization, and social change by putting forth a novel model for understanding inequality and providing an empirical framework for social justice.