The United Nations on Thursday said the sexist practices in ownership of land and property in India is one of the main reasons for social and gender inequalities in the country.
In a new online database called the Gender and Land Rights database, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) termed the disparities that exist between men and women in owning property as "one of the major causes for social and gender inequalities in rural areas" in India.
"It jeopardizes, as a consequence, rural food security as well as the wellbeing of individuals and families."
Based on 1995-96 agricultural census, FAO finds that women account for 9.5 per cent of all holders.
"Aside from the legal constraints hampering women's access to land, socio-cultural factors such as the practice of female seclusion or purdah prevent women from claiming their rights to land," FAO said.
The agricultural census of 2000 and 2001 finds that out of close to 120 million landholder women figured just 12 million.
"Even where women enjoy ownership rights, they do not exercise effective control over land, being unable to lease, mortgage or dispose of the land and of its products," it added.