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Hindu Women's Property Rights in India: A Critical Appraisal

Full citation: Patel, R. (2006). “Hindu Women's Property Rights in India: A Critical Appraisal.” Third World Quarterly, 27(7), 1255–1268. - This paper looks at changes in Hindu women’s position regarding property rights, and argues that rights conferred through law must be analyzed in light of their contexts (cultural, historical, etc.) to determine their practical legitimacy. It addresses the need to critically define the bases and contours of 'rights' as created by law. Taking the example of changes in Hindu women’s position in relation to property through the rights generated by statutory and constitutional provisions, the article critically evaluates the potential for such a 'rights regime' to enable Hindu women's greater access to property. It argues that the idea underlying a particular claim, its legitimacy and therefore effectiveness within a legal framework must be critically evaluated. The legitimacy of claims presumptively conferred within a legal framework must be interrogated in the light of legal, historical, political and cultural contexts. Such a contextual and critical analysis is crucial for effective protection of rights claims through law. To the extent that legal regimes reflect and substantiate wider social relations, their potential for bringing about substantive change in the lives of women can only be realized through ongoing critical analyses of gender, law and society.
[Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
India
Creator:
Patel, R.
Year:
2006

Joint-titling—A Win-Win Policy? Gender and Property Rights in Urban Informal Settlements in Chandigarh, India

Full citation: Datta, N. (2006). “Joint-titling—A Win-Win Policy? Gender and Property Rights in Urban Informal Settlements in Chandigarh, India.” - This article explores the impact of joint titling of houses on women’s empowerment in urban informal settlements in Chandigarh, India. It finds that property rights increase women’s participation in decision making, access to knowledge and information about public matters, sense of security, self-esteem, and the respect that they receive from their spouses. Women display a higher attachment to their houses than men, especially after getting joint titles, because houses play a valuable role in fulfilling women’s practical and strategic gender needs. This increased attachment to the house helps reduce property turnover in regularized settlements, hence assisting the government in attainingits goals and making joint titling a win-win policy. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
India
Creator:
Datta, N.
Year:
2006

Institutional Innovations Towards Gender Equity in Agrobiodiversity Management: Collective Action in Kerala, South India

Full citation: Padmanabhan, M.A. (2005). “Institutional Innovations Towards Gender Equity in Agrobiodiversity Management: Collective Action in Kerala, South India.” - This study compares two institutions of collective biodiversity management in Kerala, India. The traditional mechanisms of a scheduled tribe, the Kurichyas, are contrasted with the new institution of the People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) under the local form of governance, the panchayat. Collective action is analysed for the core variables of reputation, trust and reciprocity. In the tribal institutions, traditional seed exchange rests on reputation and gender complementarities, which are eroded by a diminishing degree of trust and dissolving property rights for women and weakened by failing norms of reciprocity. The new institution of PBR threatens tribal women’s reputations and their knowledge by reducing it to a bureaucratic register, the disembodiment of knowledge into information reduces trust and unpredictable returns diminish reciprocity. A massive public investment in strengthening women’s capabilities for a transformation from conservers and users to advocates, managers and decision-makers regarding biodiversity might halt the loss. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions - Annotated Bibliography]

Collection Type:
Research Articles
Country:
India
Creator:
Padmanabhan, M.A.
Year:
2005