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.
This article highlights the work Participatory Development Initiatives [PDI] to raise awareness about the second phase of the land redistribution programme of the Government of Sindh. PDI who has already been engaged in the awareness and advocacy in the first phase of land distribution, has formed teams to launch a massive campaign in different districts of Sindh to ensure that the poorest of poor women are well informed about the program and are able to fill and submit their application forms for receiving government land.
The article raises questions about the transparency of the Sindh government’s land redistribution programme and refers to a research study conducted by a non-government organisation, Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI) which point to a number of flaws.