Fasiha Farrukh's Blog
LAND RIGHTS ARE WOMEN'S RIGHTS
Date: 16 June 2015
Author: Fasiha Farrukh
Out of various other rights, the right to own land is another unnoticed subject which most of us don’t care to discuss. While seeking for gender equality rights in every walk of life, there is a need for women to claim equality for ownership of land as well. In many societies, there are no precise land rights for women due to cultural stereotypes or religious norms.
In developing countries, 80% of the food production is done by women, even if often they don’t own land.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ Article 17 mentions that everyone has the right to own a property in correlation or unaccompanied and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women declares in Article 13-16 that ‘For the ample living and economic empowerment of women, it is essential to provide them equal land rights as of men’.
Women in Pakistan don’t have an easy access to land, especially in the rural areas. 10.36% of the population is landless. It has been claimed that women’s access to land will intimidate the affinity and family arrangements, the argument brings up that claims to land will refute the ethical authority, which will result in violence. In the contrary, the constitution of Pakistan makes certain that every citizen can have possession of property.
Due to unequal access to land, women in Pakistan are often obligated to live in poverty, under deprived economic conditions and inequitably treated. With the risk of facing violence increases, they have to be dependent on men. Not only their basic rights are compromised, but this difficulty in accessing land causes underemployment, lack of political participation and exclusion.
The Beijing Declaration mentions that a majority of the population living below the poverty line are women, mainly because they don’t have proper economic resources. Access to land is a basic way to improve economic and social conditions. In developing countries, there is a need to boost women’s prolific capability, whereas, in developed countries, this productivity ratio is almost equal.
To get rid of poverty, to enhance the country’s GDP, to eliminate domestic violence, to end inheritance discrimination and to attain gender equality goals, it is crucial for Pakistan to ensure women’s land rights by advancing inclusive land reform legislations. As a Member State of the United Nations, Pakistan bears this onus of providing land rights to women.