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Dialectics of Female Landownership: A Case Study in Deltaic Andhra, C.1866-2001
It is well argued that unequal female landownership and lack of effective land rights are the most important factors affecting women's economic situation and persistence of gender gap. In this background, this article explores changing patterns of landownership of females historically with a contemporary relevance. An attempt is also made to understand the reasons affecting such a change in landownership in the village in general and castes in particular. Historically, it is understood that differences in landownership across castes by sex were attributed to varying marriage and dowry practices. The results indicate that most of the backward and scheduled castes started to emulate some of the marriage and dowry practices followed by forward castes. In spite of known and well documented evil effects of dowry and legislations against practice of dowry, if is observed that incidence of dowry is on rise in reality which is not a good solution for gender equality. In this background, an alternate policy solution is suggested by positively discriminating female buyers' with substantially discounted registration fees in land market transactions.
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