Gender, Family, and Politics of Inheritance in Pakistan
There are a huge global and local gender gap in inheritance property. Men hold most material and land resources in communities and families as compared to women. Ownership of inheritance property is one indicator of the empowerment of women. This paper examines the power politics played around inheritance property within families in Pakistan. By using a qualitative interpretative feminist approach, data were collected from thirty men and women from rural and urban areas of Rawalpindi and Chakwal districts. The findings revealed that power played a very important role within the families to keep inheritance property to men. The findings further highlighted that gender ideologies are produced in the family through socialization and reproduced socially through gender stereotypes, beliefs, and social opinions to keep inheritance property within families. The researchers argue that inheritance property within the families is political that embedded power and it is ignored often when men hold power to women and children. This paper proposes to reflect upon the power of men as head of the household in the family in the context of inheritance property.