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Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership

Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership

First Edition
Edited by:

June 2009 | 352 pages | SAGE India
This edited volume analyzes the different degrees of discrimination meted out to women by the country's inheritance laws and the corresponding customary practices in tribal societies. It also exposes the current socio-legal structure in the country, which systematically denies women the accessibility to and ownership of productive resources.

Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership is XIth in the series 'Land Reforms in India', initiated by the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. The volume contains 14 well-researched chapters through which distinguished scholars look into the discrimination faced by women in various states of India. Highlighting the fact that different regions subject women to varied forms of discrimination, these chapters reveal that these emanate from various customs and practices, Shastric prescriptions and the Muslim personal laws (Shariat) which were crystallized during the British regime and further consolidated in the post-colonial period through various union, state and concurrent laws.

Apart from describing the discrimination that women are subjected to in terms of legal rights, the collection also proposes ways to counter the same and encourages debate on the current Indian socio-legal system. With its two-pronged concern—analysis of reform laws and their impact on gender—this book will be of interest to academics in fields such as development economics, land laws, gender/women studies and sociology, as well as to policy-makers and administrators.


Rudhra Gangadharan and Padamvir Singh
A Note from the Co-ordinator Yatendra Kumar

Editor's Introduction: Understanding Land Rights of Women

Prem Chowdhry
M Parwez
Marginalization of Women: Inheritance in Assam

Hetukar Jha
Need of an Ideological Struggle: Society and Law in Bihar

Raj Mohini Sethi
Gendered Spaces: Agrarian Economy of Haryana

Raj Mohini Sethi
Himachal Pradesh
Customary Practices, Law and Gender in Himachal Pradesh

Jennifer Brown, Kripa Ananthpur, Renee Giovarelli
Addressing Legal Rights in Karnataka

Praveena Kodoth
Residual Farmers on Household Land? Women and Second Generation Concerns of Regulation in Kerala

M Rajivlochan and Meeta Rajivlochan
Madhya Pradesh
Gendering Land Reforms in Madhya Pradesh

Ksh Bimola Devi and Saroj Arora
Women and Inheritance Practices in Manipur Ksh

M N Karna
Tribal Areas of Meghalaya: Land Ownership of Women

Asha Hans, Padmaja Mishra and Amrita Mishra Patel
Need for a Paradigm Shift: Justice and Equality for Women in Orissa

N Rajasekhar
Puducherry (Pondicherry)(Union Territory)
Women's Entitlement and Legal Position in Puducherry (Pondicherry)

Raj Mohini Sethi
Gender and Reform in Punjab

Saroj Arora and LC Singhi
Uttar Pradesh
Women's Access and Rights to Land in Uttar Pradesh

Jennifer Brown and Sujata Das Chowdhury
West Bengal
Analyzing Women's Rights: A Field Study from West Bengal


An impressive volume with rich qualitative and quantitative data has come up, full of useful information and important insights from historical and contemporary trends on the relationship between women, their work and land ownership/disinheritance in the context of emergent patterns of burgeoning capitalists economy, migration, and legal contestations on the matter. Prem Chowdhry provides an able and exhaustive introduction to seemingly varied situations. Some chapters are written by academicians who try to weave several themes together. While other articles, especially by administrators, provide descriptive information on Acts, their amendments, and other quantitative data…. The chapters on Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab give an excellent account of gaps between laws, customs, and practices on the ground level…. The role of civil society organizations in studying, disseminating legal knowledge, and protesting and pushing for change in recent years has also been documented. Most chapters ring out issues of gender discrimination to the fore either through interpretation of Acts or through field studies. They not only provide useful information, but also make suggestions and recommendations for effective implementation. Overall, this book is a useful addition to the growing literature on the subject.

Sociological Bulletin

This volume is informative and engaging, and leads to a better understanding of the directions of change and the areas of intervention which need to be addressed by policy makers, administrators, researchers and gender sensitive progressive organisations.

Indian Journal of Gender Studies

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ISBN: 9788178299426

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