Womens Rights And Discrimination In India Sociology Essay Example
Womens Rights And Discrimination In India Sociology Essay Example

Womens Rights And Discrimination In India Sociology Essay Example

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  • Pages: 7 (3213 words)
  • Published: August 3, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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Gender favoritism has been one of the most crude signifiers of favoritism in most civilisations. Though globally most societies are traveling towards reform, there is besides a realisation that there is excessively much to be changed and adult females 's rights have been suppressed for excessively long a clip. In affairs such as belongings rights, the intervention extended to adult females is flagitious, to state the least.

This scenario is non confined to India, but adult females 's rights in, entree to, and control over land, lodging, and other propA­erty continue to be limited all over the universe. Gender-biased Torahs, traditional attitudes toward adult females, and male-dominated societal hierarchies pose obstructions to adult females achieving equal and merely rights. The state of affairs tends to be worse in war-worn societies. Absent belongings rights, a cross-secA­tion of war-affected women-refugees, internally displaced, and caputs of households-tend to populate in desperate poorness and want. Everywhere, adult females without belongings rights find it more difA­ficult to derive entree to recognition that allows them to put in agribusiness or micro-enterprises. Talking about gender prejudice in ownership rights, which happens to be one of his countries of expertness, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen says:

In many societies the ownership of belongings can besides be really unequal. Even basic assets such as places and land may be really unsymmetrically shared. The absence of claims to belongings can non merely cut down the voice of adult females, but besides make it harder for adult females to come in and boom in commercial, economic and even some


societal activities.2 This type of inequality has existed in most parts of the universe, though there are besides local fluctuations. For illustration, even though traditional belongings rights have favoured work forces in the majority of India, in what is now the State of Kerala, there has been, for a long clip, matrilinear heritage for an influential portion of the community, viz. the Nairs.

This inequality will be the focal point of this research worker, through this survey.


The hypothesis of the blink of an eye undertaking is that customary Torahs, most of which are in trend to day of the month, have institutionalised gender prejudice within them and hence discriminate to a great extent between work forces and adult females particularly over belongings rights. Property rights have been one of the oldest contentions of adult females 's rights militants. Though reforms have come about in the signifier of assorted amendments and judgements, equality is still a far-fetched image.

There has been an effort to unite Hindu jurisprudence across the state. Broadly comparing the two most outstanding theoretical accounts of customary jurisprudence - the Mitakshara and the Marumakattayam theoretical accounts, one notices that the latter furthers the fusion of Hindu jurisprudence. It may be recalled that P.V. Kane back uping the recommendation of the Rau Committee stated: `` And the fusion of Hindu jurisprudence will be helped by the abolishment of the right by birth which is the basis of the Mitakshara School and which the bill of exchange Hindu Code seeks to get rid of. ''

However, what is of greater importance to this survey is how in th

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first topographic point customary Torahs were prejudiced in nature. The chapters of this survey will lucubrate on the same.

Section 23 of the Hindu Succession Act is once more a glowering incidence of gender prejudice in jurisprudence. One of the chief drive factors behind the passage of the Hindu Succession Act was to give right to belongings to adult females yet by ordaining Section 23, the right to bask the belongings is really much restricted for adult females. The female inheritors are non entitled to action their brother for divider. It is merely if one of the brothers choose to partition the belongings that the sisters can acquire a portion in it. Further the Schedule giving Class I heirs besides reflects inequality. As can be seen clearly while the boy 's boy 's boy and boy 's boy 's girl acquire a portion, a girl 's girl 's boy and girl 's girl 's girl do non acquire anything. Similarly while the widows of a predeceased boy and grandson are Class I heirs the hubby of a asleep girl or a granddaughter are non inheritors.

Nature and Scope

The range of this undertaking is restricted to analyzing the gender prejudice in customary Torahs over belongings rights in assorted Torahs. The research worker would non mean to research other inequalities, which may follow the same form as existent in instance of belongings rights. The research worker 's effort would be to analyze the Torahs in order to convey out factual grounds in support of the hypothesis. For the intent of this survey, the research worker will non merely analyse the Torahs but will besides mention to instances, which in extension of the legal commissariats besides aided the procedure of favoritism. However, the customary Torahs will be the primary country of focal point.

Research Questions

Are customary Torahs discriminatory in nature? Which are the Torahs and how do they know apart on the footing of gender?

The jurisprudence associating to sequence is a glowering illustration of inequality still permeating in our system. Womans are non recognized as coparceners in the joint Hindu household. The self-acquired belongings devolves on subsisters as per Schedule 1 of the Act. Class I heirs include female parent, widow and girl as replacements of a Hindu male deceasing intestate. In Dayabhaga School, adult females have some better right than that of Mitakshara, as they become the coparceners. Yet on history of the freedom to will by a will really frequently the female 's right to belongings by sequence gets curtailed. It is common experience that the patriarchal sentiments are so strong that the male parent would instead compose a will willing all his belongingss to his boies in order to guarantee that no portion of his belongings falls in the custodies of his daughter/daughters.

What has been the attack of tribunals towards these prejudiced Torahs?

As the commissariats of the Torahs are blatantly prejudiced, there is small that tribunals can make. Their custodies are tied and so they continue to play into the custodies of prejudiced Torahs. For case Kanshi v. Sant Lal and Anr the Punjab High Court ruled that: `` females have no right

under usage to dispute disaffection by males and that the suit on their behalf is entirely unqualified and is apt to be dismissed on this short land. ''

What are the reforms being brought in order to halt the favoritism practiced by customary Torahs?

Legislations were passed by five Indian provinces viz. ; Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra to take the prejudiced characteristics of the right by birth under the Mitakshara jurisprudence. Kerala Legislature took the lead in 1976 when it passed the Kerala Joint Family System ( Abolition ) Act, 1976 ( hereafter the Kerala Act ) . This statute law loosely followed the recommendations of the Hindu Law Committee - the Rau Committee - and abolished the right of birth under the Mitakshara every bit good as the Marumakattayam jurisprudence. On the other manus, the Andhra Pradesh Legislature conferred the right by birth on girls who are unmarried on the day of the month when the Act came into force. This attack, alternatively of get rid ofing the right by birth, strengthens it, while loosely taking the gender favoritism inherent in Mitakshara coparcenary. The States of Tamil Nadu ( 1989 ) , Maharashtra ( 1994 ) and Karnataka ( 1994 ) followed the Andhra theoretical account.

Chapter I: Discriminatory Laws: A Global Background

The most obvious cogent evidence of the favoritism of adult females in assorted faiths is the being of the strong gender prejudice in customary Torahs related to belongings. Both the Torahs related to belongings - testamentary and intestate - discriminate adult females. Somehow, most societies could ne'er see a adult female as an executor of belongings and control of land was traditionally a right that work forces enjoyed.

This research worker is in favor of allowing belongings rights to adult females for grounds other than equality. In many parts of the universe, houseA­holds, communities, and societies are destroyed by civil war, invasions from neighbouring states, and interethnic force. During periods of force and struggle, the devastation of stuff and physical resources is lay waste toing for famA­ilies and communities, peculiarly for low-income populations. The destrucA­tion, nevertheless, goes beyond the stuff and physical. Community coherence, administration establishments, community authorization constructions, and socioeconomic subsistence webs are besides destroyed, go forthing the most vulnerable-such as adult females and children-destitute and with minimum resort for even their day-to-day endurance. Often households flee the force and devastation to other parts of their states or to other states, go forthing most of their properties and assets behind. Apart from this, due to the absence of belongings rights for adult females are besides unable to put in small-scale industries or other micro-enterprises.

The procedure of reconstructing communities ' societal constructions and establishments is slow and uneven. However, the restoraA­tion of civil and human rights to all groups-including women-is the footing for reconstructing a democratic post-conflict society. Land and lodging make up one important set of rights. Property rights are recognized as an of import factor in the battle to achieve economic developA­ment, societal equity, and democratic govA­ernance. As cultural heritage and a productive resource, the value and significance of land is universally recognized. Its societal and psychological

values for rural households are besides imporA­tant. The challenge is to better societal equity while working for peace, security, and Reconstruction. But peace must be understood as more than the absence of war and force ; Reconstruction must be seen as more than bricks, roads, and telephone webs ; and security must be defined as more than a strong miliA­tary force.

The legion ways in which inequality is propagated is shocking. There are no generic redresss for the disease of inequality. The forms of inequality can besides alter from clip to clip. In fact, this research worker would safely reason that from in the Indian context, the signifiers of inequality have become less material and more sociological overtime. Though on the beginning, Torahs are being framed and amended from twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours, allowing more rights to adult females, the genus or the beginning of male high quality itself has non been destroyed. Different signifiers of gender inequality can enforce diverse hardships on the lives of work forces - immature and old, in add-on to those of adult females and misss. In understanding the different facets of the immorality of gender inequality, we have to look beyond the quandary of adult females and analyze the jobs created for work forces every bit good by the asymmetric intervention of adult females. These causal connexions, which can be really important, can change with the signifier of gender inequality. Finally, inequalities of different sorts can besides, often plenty, feed each other, and we have to be cognizant of their interlinkages.

It may be noted in this context, that there is a really unhealthy belief among minds in this context that Eastern and South-Asian states are infested with inequality more drastically and that the West is comparatively safe. This is an highly false premise. The forms may differ, as said earlier, but favoritism in its many-sided signifiers exists all across the Earth. For illustration, India, along with Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, has had female caputs of authoritiess, which the United States or Japan has non yet had. Indeed, in the instance of Bangladesh, where both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition are adult females, one might get down to inquire whether any adult male could perchance lift to a leading place at that place in the close hereafter.

In fact, traveling manner back in clip, the Indian some of the most important thought in the country of rights of adult females has come from adult females intellectuals such as Gargi and Maitreyee in the Upanishads, which dates back to 8th century B.C. The authoritative preparation of this differentiation would, of class, come about four centuries subsequently, from Aristotle, in Nicomachean Ethics, but it is interesting that the first crisp preparation of the value of populating for work forces and adult females should hold come from a adult female mind in a society that has non yet - three thousand old ages subsequently - been able to get the better of the mortality derived function between adult females and work forces.

The most of import angle that this research worker intends to concentrate on

is the economic angle. Property rights to resources such as land, H2O, and trees play a cardinal function in regulating the forms of natural resource direction, every bit good as in the public assistance of persons, families, and communities who depend on those resources. Policies that form belongings rights can play a major function in advancing ( or suppressing ) economic growing, equity of distribution, and sustainability of the resource base. If we can understand bing natural resource belongings governments, how they are determined, and the function played by policy in that finding, policies can be devised that are supportive of broad-based economic growing, particularly in rural countries. Property rights include far more than rubrics and pieces of paper stipulating `` ownership '' of a defined piece of land or other resource. They encompass a diverse set of term of office regulations and other facets of entree to and utilize of resources. If we understand belongings rights to mention to an person 's capacity to name upon the corporate to stand behind his or her claim to a benefit watercourse, so belongings rights describe relationships between people. The success of any policy, whether designed to forestall farther depletion of debasement of the natural resource, or to heighten the resource base, or to guarantee sustainable resource use, or to better family public assistance, depends on an ability to successfully expect the responses of persons. Time and once more, nevertheless, existent responses differ from awaited responses.

However, curtailing our position merely to the prejudiced belongings rights in India, the primary focal point of this shall be the assorted sequence Acts of the Apostless:

  • The Hindu Succession Act, 1956
  • The Indian Succession Act, 1925
  • The Muslim Torahs - the Hanafi Law of Inheritance

Chapter II: A Brief Overview of Discriminatory Customary Laws in India

This chapter will discourse the prejudiced Torahs in assorted faiths in India in relation to belongings.


  • The Mitakshara School of jurisprudence confers heritage rights to work forces over adult females.
  • The Hindu Succession Act has its roots in customary Hindu Torahs and is applicable to those who follow Aliyasantana jurisprudence, Sthanamdar, Marumakkatayam jurisprudence and Nambudri jurisprudence and is
  • This act has following prejudiced facets:
  • The patrikins are preferred over blood relations.
  • Widows who are re-marrying are non allowed to inherit the belongings of the deceased.
  • Though the proposed amendments to the Hindu Succession Acts purpose to do sequence a comparatively non-discriminatory matter, the customary Torahs well remain discriminatory and prejudiced in their mentality.


As customary Torahs, that are wholly uncodified govern sequence among tribals, favoritism against adult females continues among tribal communities, lavish. In this context, a noteworthy incident occurred in 1982, when members of Ho folk ( including Madhu Kishwar, Sonamuni and Muki Dui ) questioned the legitimacy of subdivisions 7, 8 and 76 of the Chotanagar Tenancy Act as violative of right to equality. Juliana Lakra besides challenged this through a writ request in 1986.

The footing was that the commissariats of this act merely allowed descendants in the male line to go raiyats. The tribunal nevertheless, dismissed the aforementioned claim of misdemeanor on the evidences that, if admitted the province of

jurisprudence would go progressively helter-skelter. Despite the insightful minority judgement by Justice Ramaswamy, the regulation that governs the tribal sequence is the bulk judgement.


Christians are governed by another discriminatory act, The Indian Succession Act. The most blazing inequality in the act that deserves to be highlighted is that a widow is non entitled to distributive portion of her hubby 's estate if she is excluded by a contract to such a portion. Besides, with a big figure of Christian tribals in India, being wholly unaware of their rights, belongings rights for adult females is still a dream, far-fetched.


The Torahs regulating Muslim sequence were more prejudiced than all the other Torahs at one point of clip. Merely work forces, who were said to be the guardians and defenders of land, were entitled to inheritance. The Holy Quran explicitly states that Man is a legal guardian of the wealth he owns for the continuance of his life. However, with turning consciousness and modernisation in their capacity as female parent, married woman, girl and sister, adult females are allowed to inherit belongings.

Chapter III: Decision: Escaping the Leash of Gender Discrimination

The twelvemonth of 2005 proverb major efforts to stop the trail of discriminatory and retrograde heritage Torahs. The Hindu Succession ( Amendment ) Act, 2005 intends to kill most of the inequalities. The amendment brings in equal heritage rights for work forces in agricultural land as work forces. Daughters, even married 1s will be coparcenors in joint household belongings.

Muslim adult females in India autumn under the Muslim Personal Law ( Shariat ) Application Act, 1937, which overrides regressive customary patterns and does off with their stiff discriminatory forms by doing a regulation to the consequence that widow can non be excluded by any other inheritor and are protected by testamentary limitations, though their portion in lower than that of work forces.

The lone manner out of the rut of favoritism when it comes to belongings rights is by a Reformed analysis of rights, which will look beyond who holds legal rubric. For land we need to look at complex packages of rights held by different people, instead than a individual `` proprietor '' of any given resource unit. The rights to entree, withdraw, manage, exclude others from the resource, and to convey or estrange rights all must be considered. Men and adult females frequently have rights to utilize the resource in different ways, say when it comes to agricultural rights: for different harvests, graze, and garnering on land ; for irrigating, rinsing, irrigating animate beings, or other endeavors utilizing H2O ; for lumber, fruits, foliages, firewood, shadiness, or other merchandises from trees. Land rights have received the greatest sum of attending. As a fixed and ( by and large ) digesting plus, it is easier to specify the boundaries of the resource unit.

Good socioeconomic design to alter the belongings rights of adult females and their position in general requires understanding the production systems, resource base, distribution of labour, and dickering power of work forces and adult females of different categories. Care should be taken to understand local norms for equity and how resources are distributed

in the larger web of production activities and entree to benefits. It is besides of import to find how effectual those norms and patterns are for prolonging de facto equity. However, these elements are non inactive ; policy intercessions should be expected to alter these forms. Analysis of the regulations that govern resource distribution and production systems may assist in expecting how they will alter, but there is no mechanistic finding.