Uttarakhand Brings Ordinance to Give Co-ownership Rights to Women

The Uttarakhand government has put forward an ordinance providing the co-ownership rights to women in the ancestral property of their husband.

Highlights

  • The ordinance was put forward in the backdrop of large-scale migration of men from hill areas of the state to look for livelihood.
  • It was passed with the aim of providing financial independence to women who are left behind at home and get dependent on agriculture to sustain themselves.
  • Uttarakhand has become the first state that provides co-ownership rights to women in ancestral property of their women.

Significance of the decision

  • In the state, specifically in the hilly regions, husbands and wives both are involved in farming for their livelihood.
  • But it is usually observed that husbands do the heavy-labour intensive work like ploughing the field.
  • On the other hand, women are involved in the 90 percent of farming-related work. Despite that, women’s hard work is not recognised and they don’t get any form of ownership right on the land.
  • Thus, the decision of the Uttarakhand government will facilitate the ownership right to the women who works in the fields owned by their husbands which usually was transferred to the men and then to their sons.
  • Further, it will help the women to get loan for farm related work since when they had no ownership rights, they were not able to take any form of loan.

Women’s property rights in India

The property rights of women in India vary with respect to the religion and tribe. Usually, the right is subject to a complex mix of law and custom. However, Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 is a step towards granting the women equal legal property rights. Further, the Hindu personal laws of 1956 which is applicable to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains provides the women rights to inheritances.

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