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Rising property prices encouraging more Indian women to claim inheritance

Qutub Minar Tower in Delhi, India. Pikoso.kz/Shutterstock

The upswing of real estate prices in the Indian state of Haryana has driven more locals to defy tradition and fight for their property inheritances, Reuters is reporting.

Property prices in three Haryana cities have risen by more than half over the last decade due to increased migration to nearby Delhi and the improvement of transport links, Reuters noted, citing research from property consultancy Anarock.

“Because prices of land have sky-rocketed in these areas, women are being pushed by their husbands or fathers-in-law to claim their share of the family property, or at least be compensated in some way for it,” said Prem Chowdhry, a gender expert, on the sidelines of a land conference in New Delhi.

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The Hindu Succession Act was amended in 2005 to give women equal inheritance rights to those of men. However, women are doing so in defiance of ‘haq tyag’, the traditional practice of relinquishing their claim on ancestral property to males.

“Despite laws that give rights of inheritance to women, low levels of education and a strong patriarchal tradition can rob women of these rights,” said Chowdhry.

Only 13 percent of Indian farmland is owned by women although they comprise more than a third of the agriculture workforce, Reuters reported, citing census data from 2011.

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