She Comes to Take Her Rights: Indian Women, Property, and Propriety
Using the contemporary workings of property law in India through the lives and thoughts of middle class and poor women, this is a study of the ways in which cultural practices, and particularly notions of gender ideology, guide the workings of law. It urges a close reading of decisions by women that appear to be contrary to material interests and that reinforce patriarchal ideologies. The Hindu Succession Act was passed in India in 1956 theoretically giving Indian women the right to equal inheritance of their parents self-acquired property, but in the years since, its provisions have scarcely been utilised. Using interview data drawn from middle-class and poor neighbourhoods in Delhi, this book explores the complexity of women s decisions with regard to family property in this context. This book shows that it is not ignorance of the law, naivete about wealth or unthinking adherence to gender prescriptions that guides women s decisions, but rather an intricate negotiation of kinship and an optimization of socioeconomic and emotional needs.
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affinal family affinal property areas assets attitudes bighas bride bride's family brothers cash chapter claim context couple court cultural customary daugh daughters Delhi despite distribution divorce dowry economic eldercare entitlements equal erty example expenses family's father feminist flat formal gender Gharjamai gifts give given groom's family groups Hindu law household husband ideologies important in-laws income Indian inheritance Interview Respondents Jeffery jewelry jhuggi joint family Kavita's labor living male heirs marital marriage married Medha middle-class mother Muslim natal family natal home natal property neighborhoods notions nuclear P-value parents patriarchal patrilineal percent women postcolonial prestations problems prop property ownership Punjabi reform Respondents in Percentages responses rural land sample Shah Bano shares significant Sikh sisters SN women social social class socioeconomic sons squatter status Table tion urban Uttar Pradesh wealth widows woman women from SN women's property