Women in Uttar Pradesh Protest Male Inheritance of Land
Throughout history, women in India have been seen as inferior to men and therefore don’t have the same privileges and rights. Although India has progressed to some extent, there’s still undoubtedly a long way to go.
India ranks 84th out of the 113 countries on The Economist’s Women’s Economic Opportunity Rankings. The ignorance of Indians in the issue of women’s rights is demonstrated by a recent article published by Times of India, encouraging the stereotyping facts of women and straight out disrespecting them as a whole. The article was thankfully eventually taken down. Until some major steps are taken, this atmosphere for women in India is going to continue.
Govid Kelkar, an expert at the Landesa land consultancy, shares her experience of working with women in Uttar Pradesh. She noticed something very disturbing while working with these women; to her horror, there were absolutely no men tilling the land.
While the women are working the fields, the men are in the cities searching for formal employment! Govid Kelkar also discovered, after conversing with these women, that despite all their hard work on the land, they still don’t own it.
Despite the fact that in 2005, the Hindu Succession Amendment Act finally gave women the right to inherit land and have their names on the joint land title along with their husbands, the patriarchal society in still in place where women are denied their property rights. Fortunately, in Uttar Pradesh, there is a sign of small changes in the rights for these women.
Women in Uttar Pradesh have finally begun to protest and fight for the rights they know they deserve. Kelkar states:
In 70 districts of Uttar Pradesh, a movement for women’s rights to land was formed. The women were saying, ‘We want single titles in our names because when we have joint titles, we cannot question the authority of our husbands who are never here.’
The land that the women spend most of their lives working on and taking care should not be under the men’s names, who don’t even put in half the effort women do in maintaining it.
Indians need to stop being ignorant to the vast issue of women’s rights, because it has been too long. It’s time women start making their way in society where they belong.[Image Attribute: Fonthip Ward]