By Bina Agarwal
During this finished research of gender and estate all through South Asia, Bina Agarwal argues that an important 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 assets, together with box examine, the writer addresses the cause of this imbalance, and asks how the boundaries to possession should be conquer. The e-book bargains unique insights into the present theoretical and coverage debates on land reform and women's prestige.
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Extra resources for A Field of One's Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia
5 Land rights for women 25 primary or an important supplementary source of income for the bulk of the rural population in South Asia. Only a small proportion of the total labour force, and even less of the female labour force, is employed in the manufacturing sector; and sectoral labour force projections, where available, do not predict any dramatic increase in labour absorption into formal industry in the near future. Also (as noted), whether or not engaged in agriculture, a significant proportion of the rural population (which in 1990 constituted 74 per cent of South Asia's population)53 is dependent on VCs and forests for its supplementary survival needs.
Male members of the family/clan held ancestral shares in the uncultivated tracts which could technically be partitioned but, in practice, were left undivided for use by the family/clan members, as well as for the use of other village residents serving as tenants to or servicing the founding family(ies). This system was to be found especially in northwest India. 44 Even here, however, there were additional common lands outside the village - scrub forests, hill grazing runs, riverain grazing tracts, open 'primeval' wastelands, etc.
In Nepal a similar process of Statization took place under the local m o n a r c h s , especially in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Bajracharya 1983). Also see T h o m p s o n (1976) for interesting parallels in terms of state interventions in eighteenth-century England which curtailed the peasants' customary rights to the commons. 3 m h a a year. In m u c h of Pakistan a n d Bangladesh, less than 10 per cent of the geo-area is under forest. T h e gender implications of this loss are particularly adverse, given the noted dependency of rural women on these resources, a n d their domestic responsibility for fetching fuel, fodder, and water (for elaboration, see Agarwal 1991).