The most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of
women in the world.

Latest items for IAW-PRACTICE-1

Aug. 6, 2019, 8:14 a.m.
Countries: Comoros

"The law provides for equality of persons without regard to gender, creed, belief, origin, race, or religion. Nevertheless, inheritance and property rights practices favor women. Local cultures are traditionally matrilineal, and all inheritable property is in the legal possession of women" (page 9).
Aug. 3, 2019, 6:47 p.m.
Countries: Namibia

"The customary law rules on inheritance vary among communities, depending on whether matrilineal or patrilineal kinship systems are in use. According to Section 26 of the Communal Land Reform Act, a customary land right ends when the person who held that right dies. Customary law, which is applied in this case, states that following the death, the customary land right reverts back to the chief or traditional authority for reallocation. The customary right must be reallocated to the surviving spouse, if s/he consents to such allocation, or to a child of the deceased if there is no surviving spouse or if the spouse does not accept the allocation of the...more
Aug. 3, 2019, 6:36 p.m.
Countries: Namibia
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1

"Women and children are often discriminated against in relation to inheritance in Namibia. In the north of the country, tradition dictates that when a married man dies, all his possessions go to his family with the exception that the state retains ownership of the land which is then redistributed to the community. In effect, the customary law authorities ignore the widow’s right to inherit the use of the land" (250)
Aug. 3, 2019, 6:12 p.m.
Countries: Nepal

"In spite of the cultural differences across the various ethnic and religious groups, generally land passes from father to son in almost all communities. Hindu practices follow patrilineal descent and patrifocal residence systems. Property holders, either the holders of tenancies or the owners of land, are normally patrilineal segments, comprising two or three generations. In most communities, women do not inherit land. When a man dies, his assets are taken over by his brothers - if he has no son, or if his son is not of age - leaving his widow dependent on his patrilineage. Some cultures, however, allow women to inherit land, although they are expected to hold...more
Aug. 3, 2019, 5:51 p.m.
Countries: Niger

"In terms of the inheritance of moveable property women, where eligible, receive half the share of an equivalently positioned male family member in Niger, as stipulated in Islamic law. This is in some ways quite progressive in the sense that custom among non-Muslims at the turn of the century would not have provided for the inclusion of women in the division of wealth of her father or husband. Yet even here, Maliki texts, if strictly observed would be far more favorable to women than other competing understandings of «custom» regarding property insofar as it touches on immoveable property-land. Often in Niger the application of Maliki inheritance law is tempered by...more
Aug. 3, 2019, 5:27 p.m.
Countries: Niger
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1, IAD-LAW-1

"In Niger, inheritance is governed by customary (which varies between different ethnic groups) and/or Sharia law. Sharia law stipulates that women may inherit from their father, mother, husband or children and, under certain conditions, from other family members. However, their share is generally smaller than that to which men are entitled...Widows may not receive anything if there are no surviving children and are often the victims of 'property grabbing' on the part of her deceased husband’s male relatives. According to the Chronic Poverty Research Centre, in 2006, 23.75% of widows inherited majority of assets after their spouses passed away. In some regions, when a husband dies, his property and land...more
July 24, 2019, 6:29 p.m.
Countries: Chad

"Although property and inheritance laws provide the same legal status and rights for women as for men, family law discriminates against women, and discrimination against and exploitation of women were widespread. Local leaders settled most inheritance disputes in favor of men, according to traditional practice" (page 16).
July 20, 2019, 7:37 p.m.
Countries: Nigeria

""It is generally true that widows are denied inheritance to housing and land in particular, and to chattels to a lesser degree. Generally, inheritance is based on the principle of primogeniture: that is, that the eldest surviving son inherits all the deceased’s property...In northern Nigeria, which is predominantly Muslim, women’s inheritance is governed by Islamic law — the Sharia. Under the Sharia, women can acquire and retain their own property, can pass it on to their heirs, and can inherit from their deceased parents, husbands, brothers, sisters, daughters and other relations. However, under the personal law code of the Sharia, the share of inheritance a female receives is discriminatory. Male...more
July 20, 2019, 7:27 p.m.
Countries: Nigeria

"Almost all ethnic groups practice patrilineal inheritance. Upon a man's death, land may be divided among his male heirs or passed down solely to the eldest son, depending on the community practice. If a man has multiple wives, his land is divided equally among the wives and passed down to their sons. Women rarely inherit land, usually only if there are no male heirs. Inheritance is by far the most common mode of land acquisition among rural people" (para 1)
July 20, 2019, 7:11 p.m.
Countries: Pakistan

"Where there are no males, some tribes like the Hazaras, provide for women’s inheritance though the actual control of the property remains in the hands of the uncles. Often, as soon as a woman’s name has been entered in the transfer papers, a gift is made in favour of the brothers. Therefore, even if women’s names are registered in the property transfer papers, upon succession, the male relatives inherit the land in their stead" (para 1). "In Punjab, women generally may inherit property but they cannot decide anything regarding its usage. Immovable property is very rarely transferred to women except in few more affluent families. In some cases, dowry is...more
July 20, 2019, 7:09 p.m.
Countries: Pakistan
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1

"[Widows] lose their right to inheritance if they remarry outside the family of the deceased husband" (para 1)
July 19, 2019, 4:56 p.m.
Countries: Niger
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1

"The Committee notes the link between the disproportionately high number of women in the State party living in poverty and their restricted access to economic assets and social benefits, mainly owing to the application of customary law in matters of succession resulting in unequal land inheritance and land grabbing from widows" (12).
July 18, 2019, 12:24 p.m.
Countries: Central African Rep

"The formal law does not discriminate against women in inheritance and property rights, but a number of discriminatory customary laws often prevailed. Women’s statutory inheritance rights often were not respected, particularly in rural areas. Women experienced economic and social discrimination. Customary law does not consider single, divorced, or widowed women, including those with children, to be heads of households. By law men and women are entitled to family subsidies from the government, but several women’s groups complained about lack of access to these payments for women" (Pg 18).
July 17, 2019, 2:14 p.m.
Countries: Cameroon

"The constitution provides for the same legal status and rights for women and men; however, in law women did not enjoy the same rights and privileges as men. Although local government officials including mayors claimed women had access to land in their constituencies, the overall sociocultural practice of denying women the right to own land, especially through inheritance, was prevalent in most regions" (Pg 27).
July 9, 2019, 2:45 p.m.
Countries: Zambia

"In contrast to customary law, the constitution and statutory law provide for the same legal status and rights for women as for men, including under family, labor, property, and nationality laws. Nevertheless, the government did not adequately enforce the law, and women experienced discrimination in employment (see section 7.d.), education, inheritance, and ownership of land and other property" (Pg 23).
July 8, 2019, 1:19 p.m.
Countries: Uganda

"The law provides women with the same legal status and rights as men. Discrimination against women, however, was widespread, especially in rural areas. Many customary laws discriminate against women in adoption, marriage, divorce, and inheritance. Under local customary law in many areas, women may not own or inherit property or retain custody of their children. Traditional divorce law in many areas requires women to meet stricter evidentiary standards than men to prove adultery. Polygyny is legal under both customary and Islamic law. In some ethnic groups, men may “inherit” the widows of their deceased brothers" (Pg 29).
July 6, 2019, 1:13 p.m.
Countries: Togo

"Although women and men are equal under the law, women continued to experience discrimination in education, pay (see section 7.d.), pension benefits, and inheritance. In urban areas women and girls dominated market activities and commerce. Harsh economic conditions in rural areas, where most of the population lived, left women with little time for activities other than domestic tasks and agricultural fieldwork. While formal law supersedes traditional law, it is slow, distant, and expensive to access; rural women were effectively subject to traditional law" (Pg 12).
July 3, 2019, 1:59 p.m.
Countries: East Timor

"Some customary practices discriminate against women, including traditional inheritance systems that tend to exclude women from land ownership. There have been complaints that the company registering land claims used forms that do not protect women’s rights to property or follow best practice as related to gender" (Pg 17).
June 28, 2019, 10:58 a.m.
Countries: Sri Lanka

"The law provides for equal employment opportunity in the public sector. Women have equal rights under civil and criminal law. Adjudication of questions related to family law--including divorce, child custody, and inheritance-- varied according to the customary law of each ethnic or religious group, resulting in discrimination" (Pg 30).
June 14, 2019, 2:55 p.m.
Countries: Nigeria

"Women generally remained marginalized. No laws prohibit women from owning land, but customary land tenure systems allowed only men to own land, with women gaining access to land only via marriage or family. Many customary practices also did not recognize a woman’s right to inherit her husband’s property, and many widows became destitute when their in-laws took virtually all the deceased husband’s property" (Pg 36).
May 16, 2019, 9:32 a.m.
Countries: Kyrgyzstan

"The ceremonies are carried out mainly in rural areas. The marriages have no legal standing in the country. Under Kyrgyzstan family code, women and men have equal property rights in marriage, with couples signing a contract stating the division of property between them. But in unregistered marriages, there is no such contract and women lose out on these benefits" (para 2).
May 11, 2019, 5:11 p.m.
Countries: Fiji
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1

"Women have full rights of inheritance and property ownership by law, but local authorities often excluded them from the decision-making process on disposition of indigenous communal land, which constituted more than 80 percent of all landt" (16).
May 9, 2019, 3:13 p.m.
Countries: Guyana
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1

" The Civil Law (Rights of Persons in Common Law Union act) 2012 was enacted in July 2012. (The Act) was enacted in July 2012. Section 2 (1) states that where a single woman and a single man have lived together in a common law relationship for not less than five years immediately preceding the death of either one of them and the person dies intestate, the surviving woman or man shall be entitled to the same power and rights regarding intestate succession as a widow or widower or a surviving wife or husband in the Civil Law of the Guyana Act the deceased Persons’ Estate Act, or any other...more
April 27, 2019, 9:12 p.m.
Countries: Switzerland
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1

"The Committee is also concerned that laws governing the inheritance of property often prevent widows from inheriting farms in the event of their husband’s death" (15).
March 25, 2019, 2:20 p.m.
Countries: Liberia
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1

"In rural areas traditional practice or traditional leaders often did not recognize a woman’s right to inherit land. Programs to educate traditional leaders on women’s rights made some progress, but authorities often did not enforce those rights" (24).
March 21, 2019, 11:12 p.m.
Countries: Syria
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1

"During the year there were reports that, in some regions, custom prevailed over the law and women received no inheritance" (para 198). "According to several groups, including HRW, extremist armed groups placed discriminatory restrictions on women and girls in Aleppo, al-Hassakah, Idlib, and Raqqa governorates. Such restrictions included strict dress codes, limitations on women’s engagement in public life and ability to move freely, and constraints on their access to education and employment" (para 202). "In areas under its control, Da’esh published a 'Civilization Document' with 16 points that a woman must follow or face the death penalty. They included staying at home and not leaving it without an immediate male...more
March 20, 2019, 11:36 p.m.
Countries: Namibia
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1

"Traditional practices in certain northern regions, however, permitted family members to confiscate the property of deceased men from their widows and children" (11).
March 15, 2019, 11:35 a.m.
Countries: Vanuatu

"Although the law does not prohibit women from owning or inheriting property or land, tradition generally bars women from land ownership or property inheritance" (9).
March 7, 2019, 10:28 p.m.
Countries: Suriname
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1

"Where local customs remain a strong influence on the family unit, inheritance rights pass to husbands" (12).
Feb. 11, 2019, 6:49 p.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone

"Women face the risk of losing control over the land when their husband dies or if they divorce. Male children from the marriage inherit the land but if there are no children and if a woman remarries into her late husband’s family, she can continue to cultivate the land. A woman who returns to her patrilineal family regains her rights to land for cultivation from the male head of her family" (para 2)