By Bina Agarwal
During this entire research of gender and estate all through South Asia, Bina Agarwal argues that crucial financial issue affecting girls is the gender hole in command over estate. In rural South Asia, few ladies personal land or even fewer regulate it. Drawing on quite a lot of resources, together with box study, the writer addresses the cause of this imbalance, and asks how the limitations to possession may be conquer. The booklet bargains unique insights into the present theoretical and coverage debates on land reform and women's prestige.
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Additional resources for A Field of One's Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia
Also see Binswanger a n d Rosenzweig (1986a) o n the theoretical reasons why in areas with poorly developed capital m a r k e t s land is sold mainly for distress reasons, and why in such circumstances it accumulates with persons with already large holdings. F o r instance, in northwest Nepal, K r a u s e (1982) found that land inherited from an ancestor was ritually associated by some communities with the kuldevta (ancestral G o d ) . Selvaduri (1976) in his study of a Sinhalese village, describes several bitter disputes a r o u n d ancestral land, including one where a w o m a n fought her brothers for twelve years for a small plot of land, in the process spending m o r e t h a n its m a r k e t value.
Hence the redistributive land reform programmes of the 1950s and 1960s in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and of the 1970s in Bangladesh, continued to be modelled on the notion of a unitary male-headed household, with titles being granted only to men, except in households without adult men where women (typically 15 16 In 1991, however, a Task Force set up by the Bangladesh Ministry of Planning to review the country's development strategies made a modest recommendation that female heads of households, with or without adult sons, and women in households with incapacitated male heads, be given priority in the distribution of government land (see Report of the Task Force on Bangladesh Development Strategies for the 1990s (1991)).
50 A similar process of declining village commons due to illegal encroachments and government redistribution programmes is observed in Pakistan (Cernea 1981). 1 for India), and population growth has compounded the pressure on what remain, speeding their degradation. 51 This has both class and gender implications. The process of privatization has been accompanied by an increasing concentration of previously communal land in the hands of the male members of relatively few households. Poor households have thus lost out collectively while gaining little individually.