WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN A RURAL MATRILINEAL SOCIETY OF MEGHALAYA, INDIA

Minakshi Keeni, Nina Takashino, A.K. Nongkynrih, Katsuhito Fuyuki

Abstract


The present study was undertaken to ascertain whether rural women are empowered in a matrilineal society in India. In a state where traditional institutions function on the basis of local customs and conventions that are not codified and yet religiously followed, it is questionable to whether the women are essentially empowered. In such a scenario, one wonders if owning land is enough to empower a woman. The objective of this study is to check if whether land ownership empowers a woman and if it gives her decision-making power in the household. The study was conducted at one village from each of the two districts in Meghalaya- the East Khasi Hills and the West Khasi Hills. Fifty female respondents from each district were made to answer a structured questionnaire, after which four respondents had to be eliminated, as they were unmarried and eighteen respondents had to be dropped as they were either a widow or separated. Probit regression was then used to analyze the data. The results stated that women who inherited land were more likely to have a savings account and be a part of a socio-economic group. From this it can be concluded, that women who owned land through lineage were empowered, however the fact that they still consider their husbands to be the head of the family, makes us consider that there may be a psychological component to it.


Keywords


Meghalaya; Matrilineal Society; Women Empowerment

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