Separated and Divorced Women in India
examines the economic rights and entitlements of separated/deserted women in law and practice in India, and explores all the laws and policies relating to financial support for a wife or child that come into play once a separation or divorce has taken place.
Based on a survey of more than 400 women in four different regions across the country, this seminal work lays bare the miserable financial conditions of separated/deserted women and the lengthy procedural obstacles that these women have to contend with to get any justice. It interrogates the absence of any laws that would give Indian women ownership rights in the property and assets that they have helped to acquire through financial or non-financial contributions in the marital home, and suggests that Community of Property should be made a part of law for all Indian women.
This work further challenges the conventional understanding of productive work and advocates recognition of the productive nature of women's household work. Another aspect discussed pertains to the pervasive scourge of dowry and how seldom women recover their dowry and stridhan through the law.
This important study takes up an issue that has been neglected for far too long in Indian social science research as well as activism: the extremely dire conditions faced by separated and divorced women in India, and the abysmally inadequate legal entitlements generally obtained by them… The study makes clear recommendations for laws that conclusively establish women’s right to… at least half share of the assets of the couple during the period of living together… This study is a critical intervention in an important area that deserves to be widely read and acted upon with urgency.