Indian Women Finally Get To Head Their Own Families In 2016

Thanks to this latest legal battle, women in India can now be head of the family, a position previously reserved for their male counterparts only.

In a landmark verdict, Delhi High Court in India ruled that females are now eligible to be the legal head of their family, all because of a legal victory in India by a woman who sued her own cousin.


According to Hindu law, a “karta” has the top position in the family, giving that person authority to handle the rituals, property, assets and other key matters of the family. But, in traditional Hindu views, only male inheritors are recognized to head the ancestral property.

The Delhi Court's Justice Waziri ruled that, “If a male member of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), by virtue of his being the first-born eldest, can be a karta, so can a female member.”

Times of India reports that Monday’s ruling in Delhi was the result of a lawsuit filed by the eldest daughter of one of North Delhi’s business families, whose father was the eldest of four brothers. After the deaths of all four, her cousin, the eldest son of a younger brother, claimed he was the rightful karta.

The HC ruling is important because it's based on a 2005 amendment to the South Asian nation’s Hindu Succession Act allowing women previously denied equal inheritance rights.

People on Twitter however, are laughing because it’s a little too late for this law, but Indians are happy since this is a long battle finally won.



Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaigns for gender equality, women in the workforce in India is just 27%, down by 10%, according to the data compiled by World Bank. That makes women's involvement in India's labor force the second lowest next to Saudi Arabia — out of the world's 20 major economies, according to The New York Times.

This is a good move toward women empowerment in India and there shouldn’t be any restrictions on a female being head of her own family; after all, it's 2016!

Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters

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