Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Gender Equality Law 1

Policy views

Reformation in Women Propertieship

Start of the Millenium Reformation

The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 has been passed with big expectations in terms of ensuring equal gender rights in the nation. In December 2004, the amendment Bill on HAS 1956 was placed before the Upper House. The 2004 Bill reproduced some shortcomings of the Act based on the Law Commission’s 174th Report. All the same time, the 2005 Bill was said to have fulfilled the goal of achieving equal gender rights.

But in fact, the Bill reflected more the aspects of State level amendments and ignored reforms needed in agricultural land ownership, married daughters’ rights, etc. The Bill showed the pressure put on the government by the democratic forces and necessity of facing the crises of growing militant characteristic of the middle and oppressed classes of the northern and some southern states.

The least commitment on part of the government was withheld for eight months to seek comprehensive amendment. Concerted efforts made by individuals and committed groups, a series of memoranda depositions and lobbying, the inputs of the Standing Committee on Law & Justice, support of lawyers all contributed a shift from the 2004 Bill to the wide ranging 2005 Act.

The history of the 2005 Act shows the initiatives for putting reform in the HAS 1956 was taken by a relatively small number of committed individuals and groups and endorsed and supported by grassroots organisations and people from across the country with a government and parliament that have the will to reform., can go a long way. This tells us the state implementation of the Act, 2005. Civil group campaigns and grassroots organisational activities will be triggered in the next few months. Funds will be flowing in to the nation in the name of propaganda and educational programmes to ‘enhance’ ‘social awareness of the advantages of the 2005 Act’. Voices will be raised for more gender equality and sponsorship will be made to assist women legally and socially to assert their rights.

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