Family planning and Land
and property rights
The average woman in rural areas of India has little or no control over
her reproductivity. Women, particularly women in rural areas, do not
have access to safe and self-controlled methods of contraception.
The public health system emphasises permanent methods like
sterilisation, or long-term methods like IUDs that do not need follow-up.
Sterilization accounts for more than 75% of total contraception,
with female sterilisation accounting for almost 95% of all sterilisations
Land and property rights
In most Indian families , women do not own any property in their own
names, and do not get a share of parental property.Due to weak
enforcement of laws protecting them, women continue to have little
access to land and property.In fact, some of the laws discriminate
against women, when it comes to land and property rights.
The Hindu personal laws of mid-1956s (applied to Hindus, Buddhists,
Sikhs and Jains) gave women rights to inheritance. However, the sons
had an independent share in the ancestral property, while the
daughters' shares were based on the share received by their father.
Hence, a father could effectively disinherit a daughter by renouncing
his share of the ancestral property, but the son will continue to have a
share in his own right. Additionally, married daughters, even those
facing marital harassment, had no residential rights in the ancestral
home. After amendment of Hindu laws in 2005, now women in have
been provided the same status as that of men.
In 1986, the Supreme Court of India ruled that Shah Bano, an old
divorced Muslim woman was eligible for maintenance money. However,
the decision was vociferously opposed by fundamentalist Muslim
leaders, who alleged that the court was interfering in their personal law.
The Union Government subsequently passed the Muslim Women's
(Protection of Rights Upon Divorce) Act.
Similarly, the Christian women have struggled over years for equal
rights of divorce and succession. In 1994, all the churches, jointly with
women's organisations, drew up a draft law called the Christian
Marriage and Matrimonial Causes Bill. However, the government has
still not amended the relevant laws.