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Gender Discrimination in Property Inheritance Rights: The Experience of Women in Tribal society of Sikkim

Salvin Paul

Faculty of Peace and Conflict Studies in Sikkim University

Sanita Rai

Independent Research Scholar in Sikkim


Gender discrimination in respect to property inheritance rights has become a crucial issue of concern in tribal society where customary practices play significant role in the administration of day to day life of tribal people. Tribal societies in Sikkim are governed by customary laws and patriarchal system that deprive the women of their inheritance. Patriarchal system and customary laws, thus, perpetuate structural violence in the society. Some of the tribal communities including Bhutia, Lepcha, Limboo, Sherpa, etc. appear to give property as a gift to their daughter. But legally there are no laws that guarantee property inheritance rights to women in tribal society. For tribal society, customary laws define the social fabric of the society which is gender discriminatory in nature. In this backdrop this study attempt to focus on nature of tribal societies that are governed by customary laws and patriarchal system in terms of gender discrimination in getting property inheritance rights for women in Sikkim.

Keywords: Property Inheritance Rights, Customary Laws, Patriarchal System, Gender Discrimination, Tribal Societies.

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