This research report argues that women’s land ownership and control has important connections with their empowerment and there has been negligible research on how many women own land in Pakistan. This study aims to fill this gap and examine the connection between land ownership and empowerment. The focus in on women’s land ownership vis a vis private agricultural land, not residential or commercial property.
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 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.