A mong all gender-related issues in India, the iniquitous property rights accorded to women in different religions get little attention. The Hindu Succession Act (that also includes Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains) was amended in 2004 to remove the disparity viz-a-viz succession. The landmark amendment, awarding equal rights to Hindu women (by extension, the aforementioned categories as well) in parental property, has come crying 57 years after independence.
As the amended Act does not include Muslims and tribal groupings, women in these communities will remain at the whims and fancies of religious doctrines. Muslim women, under Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, are entitled to only one-sixth of parental property, which does not include agriculture land! It must be brought to notice that even in Christian succession, only after judicial annulment were the gender-based anomalies corrected (the benchmark Mary Roy Case).
It is high time when voices of consensus are generated for ameliorating women's plight in religious minorities. In fact, the Uniform Civil Code has to go clearly beyond political sloganeering to the realm of providing true gender equality.