The report looks at various issues pertaining to women’s ownership and control of land and property in specific areas in the North and East of Sri Lanka affected by the conflict. The report discusses practical difficulties women face in accessing and owning land, legal provisions that affect women’s access and ownership, the implications of ethnicity, caste, and religion on land and property rights as well as perceptions related women’s access to and ownership of land. Traditionally there has been a strong trend towards separate property ownership of women.
One third of women in this study claimed to own land, and the prevalence of violence reported was low (13%), but the study highlights notions of patriarchy and social norms that operated in the context of Sri Lankan society, making women passive subjects to the violence inflicted on them. The study did not find an association between the ownership of property and domestic violence; women with property and those without were found to be equally likely to report violence.
This paper deals with women’s right to land in the former Swat state areas. The author argues that inheritance was according to customary law (riwaj) which did not recognize women’s Islamic right of inheritance, disputed cases could be taken before the quazi to be decided according to the Shariat although at the discretion of the leader. But the extension of the West Pakistan Muslim personal Law (Shariat) application Act of 1962 to the Swat region in 1976 formally provided for women’s inheritance according to Muslim law.
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.