empowerment, equal rights to both men and women,
equal share of property, etc., are some of the
issues one can find everyday, in newspaper and on
television. The reality is that these issues are
still issues. Not much has actually been done to
create equality between the male and female gender.
The male still dominates society.
If it’s a matter
of property, then legally male dominates the
society. There are numerous laws that say that there
should be no discrimination between the sexes, but
in reality none are effective enough to actually
bring about a revolution; a change in society.
The Hindu Enactment
Act, 1956, established that women have equal
inheritance rights, as men; and it abolished life
estate of female heirs. However, this law could not
do the needful as there was another law, the
Mitakshara coparcenary that overruled the previous
According to Mitakshara coparcenary, in a joint
family, a daughter will get a small share of
property compared to the son. While the father’s
property is shared equally between brother and
sister; the brother, in addition, is entitled to a
share in the coparcenary from which the sister is
excluded. If the family owned a dwelling house, the
daughter’s right is confined only to the right of
residence and not possession or ownership.
The Hindu Succession
[Andhra Pradesh] Amendment Act, 1985, made a
remarkable development. This law stated that the
rights of the daughter are equal to that of the son,
in any circumstances. This law found the Mitakshara
system is in violation of the fundamental right of
equality. The States of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and
Kerala have also amended the law by including women
as members of the coparcenary. This law is not
applicable in the whole country.
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