Property rights for women have been a topic of ongoing debate for ages and the issue is deeply rooted in the various societal norms and prejudices. Despite the implementation of laws and policies to safeguard the property rights for women, norms and prejudices continue to exist in the societal structure. In India, women face obstacles regarding inheritance of property and the major reason behind it is the lack of adequate knowledge in terms of owning property.
This blog will focus on providing important information regarding property rights for women to safeguard their position in society:
- The property possessed by a woman individually comes under her control: Women in India are not aware of the fact that the property purchased by their own does not come under the control of their spouses, which means that after marriage, a husband does not have any authority over a woman’s property. Section 14 of The Hindu Succession Act states that any property owned by a woman or any new property bought by her husband in her name will become hers exclusively and cannot be taken away from her later. This will help in ensuring the economic independence of a woman even after There are various other laws implemented by the Indian government to safeguard the property rights for women. A few among them are: The Indian Succession Act (1925), and The Muslim Personal Law Application Act (1937). Etc.
- Right to residency: Whether married or not, a woman has the full authority to reside in her paternal household as well as the property owned by her spouse. This comes under The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 (PWDVA), implemented by the Indian government with the purpose of protecting women from discrimination, violence and abuse. This act allows a woman to reside in the household owned by her family or her spouse without any fear or hesitation.
- Spouse’s financial obligations won’t harm a woman’s property: The Married Women’s Property Act states that any property owned by a woman cannot be used to settle the debts of her spouse. This provision allows the protection of the rights of womenas they will not be held liable for their spouse’s debts. This law applies in the case of both tangible and intangible properties. So, the property of women will be protected in case their spouses fail to clear their debts.
- Right to inheritance of ancestral property: Every woman has an inherent right to own her ancestral property irrespective of whether she is the only child or not, whether her parents are alive or dead, or if the woman is married or not. It is the birthright of a woman to own a portion of her ancestral property and this comes under The Hindu Succession Act of 2005. This provision is essential to safeguard the future of a woman as well as her children.
- Right to inheritance of spouse’s property: A married woman in India has an equal right of inheritance of her husband’s property after his death irrespective of whether it is an intangible or tangible property, along with other heirs of it. Some laws, however, may impact the rights and procedures of property inheritance and may vary in certain circumstances.
Leading a happy and secure life is the dream of every woman and for them to be able to do so, awareness regarding property rights for women is extremely important. Women will become more empowered and eligible to gain financial security. Moreover, awareness regarding these rights should be spread among women so that they get an opportunity to lead their life happily without being subjugated by anyone.