Islamic Inheritance Laws and their impact on rural women. A synthesis of studies from Asia and West Africa and emerging recommendations

August 2016
Frida Khan (ILC Land Governance in the 21st century: Framing the Debate Series)

Analyses inheritance laws and their impacts on rural women in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Senegal, Togo and Mali. Focuses on Muslim societies, but also looks at how these differed from or influenced the inheritance practices of non-Muslim groups. Shows that women continue to be systematically denied their rights to inheritance, especially in rural areas. Inheritance practices are deeply embedded in local culture and tradition and, even though civil and religious laws exist that protect women’s inheritance, customary laws are found to prevail, which largely exclude women from property ownership and inheritance.