This is perhaps the only study that examines systematically the situation on the ground regarding women and property laws in Pakistan. Through seven case studies in the four provinces of Pakistan, Mehdi finds that there is a history of usufructuary rights exercised by women in the country’s rural areas. Defined as, “the right to the use, and to take the fruits of land for life only” usufructuary rights exist in different forms starting from communal land, to a woman’s right to the house and land of her parents.
The document was prepared by the PDI to provide evidences for PDI’s evidence based advocacy for improvements in the Sind’s land redistribution programme. The study has been published with the hope that policy makers would pay serious attention on the contents of the document to improve the programme and different stakeholders working towards the betterment of landless women peasants.
Article discusses a study done on property rights of women in Pakistan which has found that despite the fact that 98 percent of the Pakistani population is Muslim and the religion Islam gives the right of inheritance to all inheritors either male or female, this right is not enjoyed in reality by women and that while 65% of men own land only 15% of women own land.
In Pakistan, livelihoods of rural men and women revolve around arable land. Land as an asset is one of the basic physical resources which provide food, space for livestock and home. It is also a source of security and power. In fact land ownership is an important determinant of social status in rural and urban areas across the country. The landmark Participatory Poverty Assessment study, identified non-ownership of land as a key factor of poverty.
This article tells the story of Beebul Hassan, a 37 year old mother of 7 children, belonging to the small village of Deh Jharandi, District Thatta, who was one of the hundreds of women mobilized and facilitated by Participatory Development Initiatives, in applying for the lands distributed under Benazir Bhutto’s Land for Landless Women Hari’s.