Base de données Genre et le Droit à la Terre


Pratiques de facto d’héritage/de succession

In general, women do not inherit land if there is a male offspring and widows lose their right to inheritance if they remarry outside the family of the deceased husband. Where there are no males, some tribes like the Hazaras, provide for women’s inheritance though the actual control of the property remains in the hands of the uncles (14).
Often, as soon as a woman’s name has been entered in the transfer papers, a gift is made in favour of the brothers. Therefore, even if women’s names are registered in the property transfer papers, upon succession, the male relatives inherit the land in their stead (14).

In the North West Frontier Province, women do not inherit land in the presence of a male offspring, nor is there a tradition of daughters inheriting immovable property from the father except in some areas, such as Dera Ismail Khan, Mardan and Swabi, where in rare cases, daughters are given a share in moveable and immovable property (14).

In Punjab, women generally may inherit property but they cannot decide anything regarding its usage. Immovable property is very rarely transferred to women except in few more affluent families (14). In some cases, dowry is expected to compensate for landed property which is not given to women. In other cases, daughters may receive a share in property after the mother’s share has been deducted. In general, female control of property is restricted to widows and economic control possible only under specific circumstances, for instance in the presence of minor children or of a disabled household head.

Exceptionally, the practice of benami, transferring property in the names of wife or daughter or even son to avoid taxes is quite established among rich men. In such cases, the person who makes the transfer retains full control over the property and a woman’s chance of controlling property is slim until she actually inherits it. Benami transfers are often used to deprive certain members of the family from inheritance (14).

In Sindh, women do not inherit property. In case of only female offspring, dowry is given to compensate for landed property which is not given to women except in Thar, the remote desert region of Sindh, where some women inherit property (14).

The forfeiture of the inheritance share by women in favour of their brothers or sons, often through force, is a widespread practice. Women fear of putting their family ties at stake, as they generally rely on the parental home and brothers in times of need. A broken relationship with brothers can also lead to ostracisation by the extended family and affect the marriage of children. Divorced women often give up their dower in order to enhance the share of their sons in inheritance (14).

Sources:  Les nombres affichés entre parenthèse (*) font référence aux sources énumérées dans la Bibliographie.