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August 25, 2012 / Man in the Mirror

The Times of India: Given the right to property, women find it hard to get a share in property, says activist

Proshun Chakraborty, TNN Aug 24, 2012, 07.50PM IST

NAGPUR: Women in India, despite given the right to property, find it hard to get a share in property. The ignorance of right based perspective or the unthinkable disobedience of gender inequality is the most difficult challenge in front of the persons working in the judicial system, said human right analyst and lawyer Asim Sarode on Friday.

He was speaking during the inauguration of the seven-day international workshop on ‘Awareness of young women about their rights’ organised jointly by Vasantrao Naik Government Institute of Arts and Social Science in collaboration with Women International League for Peace and Freedom, Geneva.

Prof Neelima Sinha, Prof Vaijayanti Deshpande, Dr Rashmi Tikku, Dr Sushama Pankule, social activist and lawyer Smita Sarode-Singalkar were present amongst others for this workshop.

Director of Peace Women Project of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Maria Butler spoke to participants about women peace and security agenda of Security Council.

The experts spoke of the need for the adversarial judicial system to consider women’s property rights issues in more proactive manner. Demanding property rights creates the most socio-economic and emotional pressure on any woman in the Indian society. It is true that laws of equal inheritance were not in place for women over the past seven decades, and this shows that legislation alone cannot bring about social change related to women property.

“With the legal response, we need total behavioral change in society. We consider property rights in a very narrow manner,” said lawyer Sarode adding that equal opportunity in public employment, fundamental rights, safe working place, right to health, compensation to rape victims, right to get free legal aid are also core issues related to the circle of property rights.

Unless we get advocates and judges sensitized to interpret the law and procedures in progressive way, it will be hard to see women securing their property rights in real sense. Sarode also answered many questions raised by participants.

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