By Sucharita Sen
Author is Professor, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, JNU.
Alienation from land and distress-driven shift towards agricultural wage work leave women particularly vulnerable. Although amended inheritance laws have increased the probability of daughters inheriting fathers’ land, women’s effective control over agricultural land, though relatively higher in the southern states, continues to remain abysmally low on an average in rural India.
Land and its control are of fundamental importance in sustaining livelihoods in rural India. The relationship between land ownership and poverty has been well established in the past (January, 2001). There are at least four major ways in which owning land has a more direct bearing on rural livelihoods than in urban areas: land quality is of crucial significance to agricultural production, while it is of no or little consequence to production in secondary and tertiary sectors that urban India...