Hearty wishes to all the citizens of India for celebrating the 73rd Independence day recently! It has been a long journey with a lot of noteworthy changes for the good. There has been significant growth in the economy, infrastructure and various other areas. Considering gender equality, it has always been the women fighting for equal respect and rights. The struggles have been never-ending, although the scenario is getting better each day. Earlier, property-owning was considered a symbol of luxurious living but now has slowly drifted to be a safe investment option. But the question is, are women given equal rights for owning a property? It is seen that there have been many women-centric laws that have been implemented since the time of independence. Here is a list of laws for women empowerment in terms of property-owning:
The beginning of an era
The fight for owning a land started as early as 1938 when small committees dealing with the role of women in a planned economy began their work in trying to establish laws that allow you to register properties in the names of women. But until independence, there wasn’t any response. Marginal changes were observed post-independence when the aim was shifted towards the development of agriculture. Thus, the revocation of the Zamindari system took place. Although this act has nothing to do with women’s laws on property buying, it is seen that this act was stemmed out from the demand of this committee which slowly drifted the interest towards land and agriculture.
The Hindu Succession Act
The efforts continued and only in 1956, the Hindu Succession Act was introduced in which women were given equal rights to own property. Under Section 14 of this act, any property can be registered under a woman’s name in order to be the sole owner of it. However, many women were not aware of this law which was in favour of them. The act was amended in 2005. According to this amended law, daughters have equal rights to own ancestral properties which will be shared equally between the sons and daughters. But this law applied to various sects of Hindu females only and thus required a nationalised version catering to all women of the country.
The five-year plan
The eighth national five-year plan in 1990-1995 gave the complete ownership of land to women. This law ordered state governments to allocate 40 per cent of the land to women wherein the complete registration was done in the name of the respective females. Redistribution, as well as new registration, took place after this plan came into existence. Next, came the ninth five-year plan established in 1997-2000 which came up with policies to promote group rights like farm management and other infrastructural development. During this period, gender-disaggregated information regarding land ownership was also collected to make necessary changes wherever required. In the next five year plan, that is during 2012-2017, the main objective was to create awareness about the existing laws that extend support in land ownership by women. So, during this time around, mass media campaigns, advertisements and programs were conducted to spread awareness about various women’s rights over owning land – especially the equal rights in sharing ancestral property.
The government has taken progressive steps to empower women in owning land, and banks assist by offering lesser home loan interest rates for women. This encourages females to opt for home loans and invest in a new property. In order to promote and motivate women to own land, there has been a significant stamp duty waiver offered when the registration takes place in a woman’s name. Measures have been taken and implemented by different sectors to increase the number of women owning a property. The recent scrapping of Article 370 has made it possible for the women in Jammu and Kashmir to sell and transfer property to their children even if they have married a non-resident of their state. Even though the scrapping of the law is facing criticism, it has got significant benefits pertaining to the women’s rights in owning a property.
Women’s rights in owning a property is a turning point in empowering women and motivating females to be independent. An increasing number of women are expected to leverage the women-centric laws to stand tall as a maverick of the society. Head out to Lancor for buying a home and celebrating the kinship of womanhood.