In the Western world, we take for granted that all genders can rent, buy and own land.
Yet that has not always been the case for women in India – until now.
In a landmark ruling, married women will now be given co-ownership of their husband’s ancestral land in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.
This is a huge shift for wives, who previously were left with nothing when left by men who were forced to leave the land in search of work elsewhere.
The news could not come at a better time as today is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
The change to the law is set to impact up to 350,000 women who manage properties, usually on farms, either with or without their husbands still living there.
Previously, the property would have been passed down along patriarchal lines.
Speaking about the triumph, Chief Minister of the state, Trivendra Singh Rawa, said: “We talk about equal partnerships and this ordinance will provide equal partnership to women.
“This will have a major impact and will go a long way in the overall development of the state.”
He added: “It was unfair that despite performing all the agricultural works, the women could not take decisions or apply for loans as the land was in the name of their husbands.”
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Choose to Challenge’, where everyone is encouraged to call out gender bias and inequality.
To help celebrate, click here: International Women’s Day.