A study released today of more than 1,400 women and 360 men in three Indian states by Landesa and UN Women, India found that even eight years after women in India were granted equal inheritance rights, women still face significant barriers to inheriting their family’s land.
The study found that only 13 percent of the women interviewed whose parents own agricultural land expect to inherit or have inherited any of their family’s land. The survey found that often government officials, religious leaders, parents, and brothers do not recognize women’s rights to inherit or oppose women’s inheritance.
But the study also found signs of progress. In Andhra Pradesh, where women gained equal inheritance rights more than 20 years ago thanks to a progressive state law, women’s land inheritance rates were significantly higher. Thirty-four percent of women in the Andhra Pradesh sample had either inherited parental land or expected to as compared to 8 percent in Bihar and 7 percent in Madhya Pradesh, the other states surveyed.