Sex Inequality in Inheritance

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This article is written by Shrasti Singh, a student of Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University, Lucknow


In India, women are given great respect in the society but when we talk about their rights in our society, we get to see inequality in them. One of the right are- Right of inheritance and succession. In India, there is no uniformity in inheritance laws. Different religious communities are governed by their own personal laws like Hindus are governed by Hindu law, Muslims are governed by customary law under the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. Other than that there is an Indian Succession Act, which apply to all Indian citizen who are not Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist or Muslim. 

Inheritance and succession are the concept of transferring property and wealth from one generation to the other. Inheritance means the devolution of the property (moveable and non-moveable property), title, rights and duty to another person on the death of an individual either by law of succession and by a will.  There are two type of property-

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Thus gender- neutral succession law is need of the society. Women should be not discriminated in any sphere of life including inheritance purpose. Now, the socio –economic status of women in India is considerably changed.  Most of women are involving herself in workforce and contribute in making money and self-acquired property. Women today run their own businesses. Women own 21.5% of all proprietary establishments in the country. Thus provision in Hindu Succession Act should be amended to made law gender neutral based on the modern Indian society in which women is at par with men and follows the constitutional provision of Article 14 and Article 15(1) which talks about right to equality and no discrimination of any kind on the basis of sex, place of birth, religion, race and caste and international convention CDEAW. 

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