Bitiya Murmu, a Santhal Adivasi woman leader based in Dumka in Jharkhand has been fighting a personal and a political battle for women’s land and inheritance rights within the Adivasi society. (Photo Courtesy: Bitiya Murmu)
Adivasi Rights

Where Are The Equal Rights For Adivasi Women?

For Bitiya Murmu (40), a Santhal Adivasi woman leader in Jharkhand, personal has become political. For the last ten years, she has been fighting a long battle with her male relatives to claim her rightful share to her ancestral property- a struggle which has since transformed into a statewide advocacy for land, property and inheritance rights for all Adivasi women in the state.Governed by unwritten customary laws, Adivasi women are not entitled to secure inheritance which pushes them into multiple levels of vulnerability within the society. In 1986, Juliana Lakra, an Oraon Adivasi woman filed a writ petition challenging the