Women call for right to parental property

Lalitpur, September 19:

Women activists have said that empowerment of women will be impossible unless they are equally entitled to own parental property, including land. The activists were speaking at the inaugural function of a two-day first national conference on Women’s Rights on Land, which kicked off in the capital today. The activists also urged women to opt for a revolt to assert their right to parental land. Women activists from 37 districts of Nepal are taking part in the conference. The National Land Rights Concern Group (LRCG) Nepal is organising the conference. Stating that males were in possession of 90 per cent of land ownership certificates, the LRCG president, Saresh Nepal, said that women’s empowerment will be impossible unless they are given the right to own land.

Stating that Dalits, indigenous nationalities, and women were launching movements for the sake of right to own land, Nepal further said millions of Nepalis are earning their livelihood by ploughing others’ land as they are landless. Women are facing several problems, including malnutrition and trafficking, because they don’t have land ownership certificates. “For the first time a national-level discussion has begun for the land right. It should be given continuity,” Nepal said, adding: “The parties should make their stance on the issue clear.” “The freed bonded labourers have already launched the movement by capturing land,” Nepal said. Presenting the Indian experience, Puspa Singh, the secretary of the Ekta Mahila Manch, said women are held accountable for most of the works but the rights are given to their men.

“Landless women are subjected to various forms of suppressions, including rape,” she said. Sahana Pradhan, a leader of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist, said time has come for all the parties to write Nepali history with a new perspective. “Some people have even registered land in the name of dogs but not women,” she said. Besides demanding the right over parental land, the activists also demanded the formation of a constituent assembly.