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A Workshop on Women’s Land Rights was organised at Kolkata, India from 26-28 May 2017. The workshop was organised for 30 Grass-root level workers from field level. The workshop focussed on three objectives:

1) Understanding the Grass-root challenges related to Women’s Land Rights

2) Exchanging knowledge on different country-based initiatives taken on Women’s Land Rights

3) Building initiatives for grass-root level awareness building on the issue.

 

Representatives from four states of India attended the meet. The meet involved sharing of ideas, developing work-plan in small groups and exchanging ideas amongst groups.

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Here are what the participants shared on women’s land rights – positive, negative and mixed feelings highlighted the thoughts:

Ramhabala Srivastava, Motihari,Bihar“ Having worked in my area for song I realise that the awareness about women related laws is very limited. In such circumstances it becomes important that women at the basic level are made aware of such laws. And men should be a part of the process too”.

Rina Acharjee, Purulia, West Bengal: “ In my area women go out to work in the fields in the early morning hours because they grow vegetables mostly. And the vegetables need to be picked in the early hours of the day. The middle-men then come and procure the vegetables handing over the money to the women. But at that very moment the men-folk come and snatch away their money. This is my land, none of your business, they claim. And year after year, this cycle continues.”

Jashoda Mardi, Benasole, Jharkhand: “ I belong to an indigenous family. My mother-in-law has a huge property at her parents place. She has only one brother. But during a moment of crisis when she had gone and requested her brother to hand over a small portion of the property, she was refused. They said it was not right to ask for property as she was the girl of the house. She needed the land badly but she couldn’t pressurise because in our area it is very common to brand a woman who is going against the social norm as a witch. And she chose to kept quiet, rather than be branded as one”.

Nirmala Sahu, Betnoti, Odisha: “ I am a witness to the fact that women make best utilisation of the resources around themselves. Ours being a forest areas, forest is a vital resource for us. The Right to Forest Act empowers the local indigenous women to collect the forest resources without destroying the primary resource. So, our local women’s group collects Saal leaves to make Leaf Plate and Leaf Bowls which are bought by the businessmen from the city. We have made successful SHG groups and bought Leaf Plate and Bowl pressing machines. The women also keep money in bank. This has served a huge lesson to the society around”.

(Reported by: Srichandra For report details contact:ilc.womenportal@gmail.com/swadhina_org@yahoo.com)

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