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Reform in the Area of Women’s Land Rights (India)

A recent survey by International Land Coalition(ILC) member Landese shows that reform in the area of women’s land rights has had little impact for rural women in India. Eight years ago, India granted women equal rights to inherit land from their parents, but surveyed women from across three Indian states(Andra Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh) say that they are unaware of that right, and are sometimes barred from exercising it.

The survey’s major findings include:

  • Only 13 percent of women surveyed, whose parents own land, said they have inherited land or expect to inherit land from their parents.
  • 44 percent of women surveyed said that their parents would not agree to bequeath them a share of the family’s land.
  • Women inheriting land is so uncommon that 69 percent of the women surveyed said they did not know of a single case where a woman had inherited land from her parents.
  • 60 percent of the men surveyed said they did not know any woman who has inherited land from her parents.
  • 51 percent of the women and 44 percent of the men surveyed reported that they consider it wrong for women to ask to inherit land from their parents.
  • 61 percent of women surveyed reported that have signed No-Objections Certificates by which they renounce their rights to inheriting any of their family’s land.

Robynne Anderson

Robynne has extensive experience in the agriculture and food sector, working throughout the value chain – from basic inputs to farmers in the field to the grocery store shelf. She works internationally in the sector, including speaking at the United Nations on agriculture and food issues, and representing the International Agri-Food Network at the UN.Throughout her career she has worked with farm organisations like the Prairie Oat Growers Association, the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi and the Himalayan Farmers Association, as well as global groups, to further the voice of agriculture in the food debate. She has also worked with Fortune 500 companies growing worldwide businesses to assist them with issues management and strategy decisions.

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