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WP/56 Women and Landed Property in Urban India: Negotiating Closed Doors and Windows of Opportunity

This paper examines land tenure in informal urban settlements in India from a gender perspective through field research conducted in Ahmedabad in collaboration with the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA). The author describes the formal and informal tenure arrangements that were in place in these settlements and analyses their implications for women. She proceeds to raise key issues that need consideration in developing a gender-equitable vision of urban land rights, tenure and reform. These include more widely established issues such as tenuous inheritance rights of daughters and the challenges of securing joint property titles for married women as well as emerging issues such as the obstacles faced by slum-dwelling rentees, the largely unsubstantiated fears of gentrification and market eviction associated with tenure security, and the legal and practical challenges of translating the 'right of residence' into the 'right of ownership'. In each case, the author also draws out policy recommendations for redressing the discrepancies in women's ownership of urban land and housing in India.
Publisher:
UNU-WIDER
Series:
WIDER Working Paper
Volume:
2010/56
Title:
WP/56 Women and Landed Property in Urban India: Negotiating Closed Doors and Windows of Opportunity
Authors:
Bipasha Baruah
Publication date:
May 2010
ISBN 13 Web:
978-92-9230-293-1
Copyright holder:
© UNU-WIDER
Copyright year:
2010
Keywords:
women, landed property, cities, India, South Asia
JEL:
H53, J61, R23
Project:
Development in an Urban World
Sponsor:
UNU-WIDER gratefully acknowledges the financial contributions to its research programme by the governments of Denmark (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency—Sida) and the United Kingdom (Department for International Development).
Format:
online and printed copies