This is a report of the study on the issues and challenges of the land development programme prepared by the Participatory Development Initiative (PDI), in coordination with Oxfam-GB.

This article reports on the conflict between the military farm administrations and the tenants at Okara Military farms when the former forcibly tried to replace the age-old crop-sharing system of cultivation with cash-rent and yearly lease system. The tenants who had tilled the land through generations felt the new system was meant to have them evicted.

This is a letter which highlights the role of women in the  struggle for land in Okara and also the role of women workers helpline in assisting these women.
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.

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