Property For Her
Securing women’s property rights are necessary for combating patriarchy, the exploitation of labor and natural resources, violence against women and girls, and other injustices, and have been of concern to the women’s movement for several decades. The issue plagues, in different and similar forms, women across caste, class, region, and religion. It is an issue also complicated by the existence of diverse, and often discriminatory, laws governing diverse groups of women. In addition to these discriminatory provisions, patriarchal socio-cultural norms are a major barrier in securing women’s property rights. For example, although the Hindu Succession Act guarantees Hindu women an equal share in inheritance, huge gaps exist in implementation as well as day-to-day practices regarding women’s property rights.
In recognition of these inequalities and the critical importance of property for women’s well being, 61 people from 37 organizations, networks, unions, and groups across India came together on 29 & 30 May for a seminar on women’s property rights. The objectives of the seminar were to:
1) Reflect on the consequences/impacts of interfering with and curtailing women property rights;
2) Discuss opportunities and successful initiatives related to securing women’s property rights; and
3) Articulate strategies and plan a campaign through which women’s property rights can be secured.
The seminar was held across two days with three functional divisions:
Mapping the Context Around Women’s Property Rights in which Bina Agarwal shared the context around women’s property rights in India through a detailed presentation and conversation.
Strategies & On-The-Ground Action To Secure Women’s Property Rights in which four panels with approximately five speakers each from various organizations, groups, and networks who have worked on women’s property rights shared their work and discussed the challenges that they had faced in working on these issues.
Campaign Planning which brought participants together in small group discussions and then larger presentations on strategies through which the campaign on women’s property rights would be taken forward. This concluded in the launch of the #PropertyForHer campaign.
Engaging Men and Boys in Unpaid Care Work
For decades, organisations working on gender have been bringing women into productive and community work and increasing their burden of work without relieving them from their care work. Unless boys and men share household work, child rearing, care work for the elderly, there cannot be gender equality. In addition, men will become gentle, caring, and loving by undertaking care work. This would also allow women’s active engagement in the workforce and could act as a mechanism to transform masculinities, dismantle patriarchy, and bring about gender equality.
To that end Sangat in partnership with Akshara Centre, MASUM and CHSJ organised a workshop to discuss these issues and plan strategies to collectively take forward this work. The seminar also included representatives of organisations like Swayam, Jagori, Vikalp Sansthaan and MAVA among others..
The objectives of the workshop were:
- To share experiences of working with men and women to examine the proposition
- To identify mechanisms through which men and boys could be engaged and possible patterns and pathways of change.
- To identify possible pitfalls and how these could be best avoided.
- To outline ways in which organisations who wish to engage in such work could learn from each other to build an enabling social environment for increased women’s work participation.
The rich discussions at this seminar resulted in the Ghar Ka Kaam Hai Sab Ka Kaam campaign.