Open Access



Property Rights of Hindu Women: A Feminist Review of Succession Laws of Ancient, Medieval, And Modern India

Sumiksha Razdan , Shuchi Sharma

DIP: 18.02.01020220701

DOI: 10.25215/2455/0701010

Received: January 14, 2022; Revision Received: February 20, 2022; Accepted: March 25, 2022


Hindu women’s legal right to inherit property has been restricted from the earliest times in Indian culture. However, women were not always excluded from inheriting movable or immovable property from ancestral and marital families. But their proportion of share in the property was far less than that of their male counterparts. Throughout history, restrictions on Hindu women’s property rights have undergone change, and current laws governing these rights are more liberal than those of ancient Hindu society. Patriarchal Hindu society provided women with property known as stridhan (literally, women’s property or fortune), and it mainly came from marriage gifts (clothes, jewelry, and in some rare cases, landed properties). However, women were denied property rights to the ancestral or marital landed property, and their right over succession of the landed family property was limited. With the emergence of different schools of Hindu law, the concept of stridhan started expanding its literal and legal meaning, granting women more rights to certain forms of property. Later, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries witnessed the passage of several pieces of legislation that were intended to remove more of the barriers to full and equal property rights for Hindu women. Most recently, gender discrimination in Hindu succession rules was mostly discontinued by the recent Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act (2005). This article critically examines the development of succession rights of Hindu women from the ancient to the modem period, from a feminist perspective. It also analyzes the present status of Hindu women as property owners.

The authors profoundly appreciate all the people who have successfully contributed to ensuring this paper in place. Their contributions are acknowledged however their names cannot be mentioned.

The author declared no conflict of interest.

This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Razdan, S. Sharma. @

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Property Rights of Hindu Women: A Feminist Review of Succession Laws of Ancient, Medieval, And Modern India

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Article Overview

ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429

DIP: 18.02.01020220701

DOI: 10.25215/2455/0701010

Published in

Volume 07 Issue 1, January – March, 2022

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