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OPINION: Why are tribal women in India still robbed of their land rights?

Shipra Deo is Landesa’s director of women’s land rights in India, explores in this opinion piece in Thomson Reuters why tribal women in India are robbed of their land rights.

When it comes to land ownership, India’s culture and practices have always been discriminatory to women, but women in tribal society are doubly disadvantaged, first as women and second as tribal women.  Widowhood only compounds these problems. Inheritance rules for tribal communities are governed by customary laws, not by statutory rules that apply in non-tribal areas.

Why is this so? The lawful ‘owners in waiting’ who are men by default, see a single woman – whether a widow, sister or mother – as a barrier to the full control over and enjoyment of their rights.  They perpetrate all kinds of violence – physical, verbal, emotional, sexual – to evict women from the land or the property that they are waiting to own. 

Read the full opinion piece by Shipra Deo here.