ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gender, Property Rights and Responsibility for Farming in Kerala

This paper critically examines the claim that women in Kerala have substantial property rights arising out of agrarian and social reform and the practice of matriliny. It argues that land reform strengthened the patriarchal conjugal framework of property relations in the state, compromising women's independent right to property. While agriculture is no longer considered a viable occupation in the state, greater male occupational mobility has shifted the balance of responsibility for farming and family property increasingly to women. However, this work is being under-reported, is not necessarily 'visible' and comes at the cost of paid employment. For some, social mobility has afforded greater leisure but, along with declining inheritance rights, has led to the rising economic insecurity and vulnerability of women.

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