India’s rural livelihood can be significantly enhanced by giving women, access to & control of rural land. In this context, Identify the challenges in giving women land rights. Discuss the measures to tackle the problem.

65% of agricultural labour in India are women, also 75% of the total rural workforce are women. Despite their contribution, only 12% of women in rural India have ownership rights over land. Hence, most of the women workforce in India are not recognized as farmers and are rather cultivators or labourers.

Need to give rights to Women:

  • Women who own land tend to invest more in their children’s education. Chances of physical abuse also get reduced.

Challenges associated with giving rights to women:

  • Land inheritance in India is not governed by a uniform constitutional law in India, rather it is guided by various religious/personal laws.
  • Cultural aspects hinder women’s ownership of land in patriarchal societies.
  • Women often voluntarily give up their rights fearing severance of ties with family.

Measures to strengthen these rights:

  • Spreading more awareness about the Hindu Succession Amendment Act 2005 which ensured an equal share of women in ancestral property.
  • Schemes related to agriculture should incentivize those who add women’s ownership of rural land.
  • Special incentives for women farmers can motivate others to follow.

Education & empowerment of women are complementary to each other. Ownership rights to women will not only improve their socio-economic condition but would also reap benefits for the economy at large.

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