Women’s Inheritance Rights Reform and the Preference of Sons in India

The impact of changes in the form of amendments in The Hindu Succession Act 1956 that grants the daughters equal coparcenary birth rights in joint family property to which they were denied in the past, can be assessed over the three generations of individuals. There has been a significant increase in the likelihood of daughters to inherit land through such amendment which was brought in 2005, but even after this a substantial bias persists in the society. The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 was enacted to amend and codify the laws relating to those unwilled, also called intestate succession for the Hindus which includes Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs and the preference was being given to women by abolishing the Hindu women’s limited estate and thereby laying down a uniform and comprehensive system of succession into the said Act. India being a developing country has land markets which are scarce and generally acquired through inheritance and that is why women remain to be asset-poor and in conditions where they rely on men. This makes the inheritance laws significant in our country. The equalization of inheritance rights can be expected to be a powerful instrument regarding the empowerment of women. Hence this research paper indicates a strong increase in the attainment inheritance rights of daughters and thereby suggesting an alternative for wealth transfer. Further the paper even gives an analysis on the impact of women’s empowerment through improved intergenerational transfers of physical human capital as well as inheritance rights in India.