Volume I, Issue I

August 2020

Page 77

Short Article

The Trajectory of Women’s Property Rights through the lens of Gayle Rubin

Aileen Aditi Sundardas*


One of the most important aspects in Indian society is the role of the family and more specifically the role of women in the family. While women play a central role and are given the utmost importance in the private sphere, property rights for women have been one of the most deeply contested issues where women have had to fight against an inherently capitalist, patriarchal system for years on end. To synthesize a clear understanding of how and what changes have been taken place, this paper will trace the trajectory of women’s property rights. Further, to understand holistically the underlying psychoanalytical reasons of these changes and in order to understand the deep rooted patriarchy and the functioning of society it is important to trace the trajectory of women’s property rights through a feminist, Marxist and psychoanalytical lens. This paper will draw on the work of anthropologist Gayle Rubin’s work which seeks the origin of female oppression and kinds of social relations facilitating it. The essay’s central issue is to decipher the root of women’s oppression and social subordination. In order to come up with an answer Gayle Rubin analyses Marx’s and Engels’ works to locate sexism in capitalism along with a study of Lévi-Strauss and Freud’s theories to understand the social mechanisms that systematically discriminate and push them into the domestic sphere. This paper will draw on the same to understand the complex structure of Indian kinship relations and societal structures and property rights.

* Student, B.A.LL.B. 4th Year, Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, Haryana, India.