Base de données Genre et le Droit à la Terre


Normes coutumières, croyances religieuses et pratiques sociales ayant une influence sur les droits fonciers différenciés selon le genre

- Traditionally, in marriage, men have the ultimate authority on household’s resources, children and the management of the wives’ labour; while women depend on their husbands and other male relatives for access to land.

- Moreover, it is customary for a woman not to claim her share of the family property unless it is given willingly. Women often surrender their right to property in exchange of the right to visit their parental home and seek their brothers’ assistance in case of marital conflicts (15). In general, women in Hindu polygamous marriages enjoy fewer guarantees of male support than their Muslim counterparts (15).

- Dowry is still commonly practiced. Furthermore, dowry prices have been increasing due to the fact that higher caste families compete with each other by rising dowry contributions, thus penalizing lower classes women. Rising dowry prices have also caused a higher incidence of the cases of domestic violence as husbands and their families threaten young women without dowry or married women with small dowries to get additional payments (15).

- The practice of early marriages is also widely used, especially in rural areas (4). Additionally, male children are sent to school more frequently than female children. Parents are more likely to spend on books and education for boys than they are for girls (22).

- The custom of purdah, the system of keeping women off from the sight of men other than their immediate family members, is still practiced among Muslim women. However, this practice does not necessarily seclude them anymore from participating in agricultural and wage labour (15).

- In the matriarchal Garo community, husbands live in the wife’s house and engage in household work. The wife is the owner of all of the property of a household and also acquires ownership of the assets earned by the husband. Children take the name of the mother’s family and are under the responsibility of the mother. 
After the death of the wife, the husband looses the right to stay and should leave the house; however, in practice, this custom is rarely applied. If a husband dies, the wife can claim any unmarried man within the husband’s clan to become her new husband.
Daughters are cared for more due to the fact that they are the ones who stay, while sons leave the home after marriage. As a consequence, literacy is also higher among Garo women.
Due to the fact that women are owners of landed property, often non-tribal men marry Garo girls to access land, in denial of the rule that marriages should take place within the clan.  Eviction and confiscation of property are used as punishment in case of marriages outside the clan and also in case of adultery (4).

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