Landesa partners with governments and local organizations to ensure that the world’s poorest families have secure rights over the land they till. Founded as the Rural Development Institute, Landesa has helped more than 105 million poor families gain legal control over their land since 1967. When families have secure rights to land, they can invest in their land to sustainably increase their harvests and reap the benefits—improved nutrition, health, and education—for generations.
Ms. Shipra Deo, Director, Women Land Rights, Landesa – India
It is my pleasure to welcome you to this timely and important webinar on Women Inheriting Land: Rights and Realities, which is co-organized by Landesa and the Working Group for Women and Land Ownership (WGWLO) with support from the NRMC Center for Land Governance and the Land Portal Foundation. It is my honor to moderate this discussion.
Ownership and control over land is essential to ensuring gender equality and improve the quality of lives of not only women, but also of their families and communities. Despite a hoard of international and national commitments, ownership of land continues to be an area with appalling disparities between men and women. An overlapping web of legal, structural, socioeconomic, and cultural factors prevent women from realising their right to inherit land.
At the first place, the inheritance laws, policies, and regulations overtly discriminate against women and are gravely insufficient to ensure them an equal right to inheritance. The plurality of laws and the huge ambiguities further undo the progressive moves of the law. Even when the laws entitle equal rights to women, the social norms and institutions pose constrain for women from claiming their inheritance rights.
These complexities and the opportunities therein, lay the context of today’s webinar.
Allow me to introduce our esteemed panelists who come from a wide range of experience:
- Dr. Govind Kelkar, Senior Advisor -Women, Land and Productive Assets, Landesa -India.
- Dr. Hema Swaminathan, Associate Professor, Center for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore.
- Ms. Niti Saxena, Activist and Researcher, Uttar Pradesh. She has a lot of experience working on ground especially in Northern India
- Dr. Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly, Researcher & former Convener, Working Group on Women and Land Ownership (WGWLO),Which is a State level network of 43 NGOs and CBOs.
We will broadly discuss women‘s rights to inherit land in the context of human rights and global commitments, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, legal and policy environment pertaining to inheritance by women in India, socio cultural barriers to inheritance of land by women and good Practices and progress made to ensure women's right to inherit land.
We encourage participants to ask questions. Please use the questions feature to pose questions to the panelists. We will ensure that your questions are addressed in turn during the open discussion that follows.