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Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership

Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership

First Edition
Edited by:

June 2018 | 352 pages | SAGE India
Contemporary India demonstrates a curious labyrinth of land ownership patterns and rights for women co-existing in various states and the inter-regional and intra-regional differences between communities and caste groups. Initiated by the Centre for Rural Studies of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, this volume is a collection of essays on Land Reforms in India by social scientists across disciplines from fourteen different states. The editors offer an in-depth analysis of the laws governing access and control of land and its ownership by women in the various states of India. They examine the diverse ways in which discrimination is experienced by them in their respective states and propose ways to counter this rampant gender inequality.

With the help of data the book shows the differences in land ownership patterns and land rights for women across regions, communities and castes. It understands how and why the state laws in relation to agricultural labor, tenants and other farmers, land ceilings, allocation of surplus lands, distribution of ownership titles and other land reforms have failed to accommodate women.

Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership examines the dominant role played by cultural and customary practices in depriving women of legal rights which they may have had, and proposes ways, based upon extensive field work as well as interaction between legal experts, social activists and bureaucrats, to counter gender inequality in all the major zones of India. This interdisciplinary study with its wide contemporary reach will encourage debates on existing society and the augmentation/implementation of laws and rights required to establish a more just and equitable society.


Rudhra Gangadharan and Padamvir Singh
A Note from the Co-ordinator Yatendra Kumar

Editor's Introduction: Understanding Land Rights of Women

Prem Chowdhry
M Parwez
Marginalization of Women: Inheritance in Assam

Hetukar Jha
Need of an Ideological Struggle: Society and Law in Bihar

Raj Mohini Sethi
Gendered Spaces: Agrarian Economy of Haryana

Raj Mohini Sethi
Himachal Pradesh
Customary Practices, Law and Gender in Himachal Pradesh

Jennifer Brown, Kripa Ananthpur, Renee Giovarelli
Addressing Legal Rights in Karnataka

Praveena Kodoth
Residual Farmers on Household Land? Women and Second Generation Concerns of Regulation in Kerala

M Rajivlochan and Meeta Rajivlochan
Madhya Pradesh
Gendering Land Reforms in Madhya Pradesh

Ksh Bimola Devi and Saroj Arora
Women and Inheritance Practices in Manipur Ksh

M N Karna
Tribal Areas of Meghalaya: Land Ownership of Women

Asha Hans, Padmaja Mishra and Amrita Mishra Patel
Need for a Paradigm Shift: Justice and Equality for Women in Orissa

N Rajasekhar
Puducherry (Pondicherry)(Union Territory)
Women's Entitlement and Legal Position in Puducherry (Pondicherry)

Raj Mohini Sethi
Gender and Reform in Punjab

Saroj Arora and LC Singhi
Uttar Pradesh
Women's Access and Rights to Land in Uttar Pradesh

Jennifer Brown and Sujata Das Chowdhury
West Bengal
Analyzing Women's Rights: A Field Study from West Bengal


An impressive volume with rich qualitative and quantitative data has come up, full of useful information and important insights from historical and contemporary trends on the relationship between women, their work and land ownership/disinheritance in the context of emergent patterns of burgeoning capitalists economy, migration, and legal contestations on the matter. Prem Chowdhry provides an able and exhaustive introduction to seemingly varied situations. Some chapters are written by academicians who try to weave several themes together. While other articles, especially by administrators, provide descriptive information on Acts, their amendments, and other quantitative data…. The chapters on Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab give an excellent account of gaps between laws, customs, and practices on the ground level…. The role of civil society organizations in studying, disseminating legal knowledge, and protesting and pushing for change in recent years has also been documented. Most chapters ring out issues of gender discrimination to the fore either through interpretation of Acts or through field studies. They not only provide useful information, but also make suggestions and recommendations for effective implementation. Overall, this book is a useful addition to the growing literature on the subject.

Sociological Bulletin

This volume is informative and engaging, and leads to a better understanding of the directions of change and the areas of intervention which need to be addressed by policy makers, administrators, researchers and gender sensitive progressive organisations.

Indian Journal of Gender Studies

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