When it comes to ensuring a woman’s freedom, property rights play a key role. A woman’s right over her husband’s or father’s property ensures that her economic freedom is preserved. But this was not the case for a long time.
It was only in August 2020, that the Supreme Court ruled that sons and daughters have ‘coparcenary’ rights over the family property.
However, there are still several grey areas when it comes to property rights and economic freedom. Here are a few ways society discriminates against women.
- Tyranny of joint family: Laws still uphold the principle of joint family and the role of the family patriarch in it. Therefore property laws try to retain the family property within the husband’s family as far as possible. This results in unfair discrimination against women, especially when a woman dies childless.
- Misconceptions: Society believes that women do not have the wherewithal to acquire and manage the property. Nothing could further away from the truth. Women today head various positions of power and manage large estates. Therefore, this appears to be a ploy on the part of the patriarchal society to prevent women from acquiring property. Although proponents of this argument pointed towards low literacy among women as a factor, experts said that the literacy level among men is equally low. However, there is no similar discrimination against them.
- Home Loans: Women find it difficult to get home loans. While the government has facilitated loans for women, by offering them simple eligibility criteria, longer repayment tenures, etc, banks or lenders are often prejudiced against women getting loans.
- Discrimination against widows: The number of widowed women in India increased from 24 million in 1961 to 43 million in 2011. This means that the pool of widowed women has increased over the years as compared to men. However, when it comes to granting property rights to widows, especially those who do not have children, things are still difficult.
- Discrimination against rural women: Rural women are worse off than their urban counterparts. Since our villages are governed by community principles, women in rural areas often do not often have rights over common and forest lands.
Our society will not be better unless we ensure equal rights for women, especially when women today are contributing to society as men in equal measure. Join the Property Adviser’s unique effort to promote women’s property rights. For more information on all the latest real estate news and listings in Hyderabad, log in to PropertyAdviser.in.