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Recent research in areas outside the conflict area found that some families treat sons and daughters equally in matters relating to immovable property.
The Roman Dutch law governs land rights of all not covered by Tesawalami or Muslim law.
Under Tesawalami a woman can own property individually, is entitled to patrimonial and non-patrimonial inheritance, can acquire property during marriage and can keep the dowry she received.
The woman cannot invest in the property, mortgage, lease, or sell it without the prior permission of her husband.
A woman cannot enter into contracts without his consent and women are treated as ‘minors’ in the Courts of Law. A woman who receives a dowry loses her right to inherit parental properties if she has surviving brothers.
Different land ownership laws (the Tesawalami, the Muslim law, and the Roman Dutch law) and the lack of a uniform civil code make land use assessment difficult.
The customary law, Tesawalami, governs inheritance of property and matrimonial rights of Tamil women in Jaffna.
The destruction of small tanks during the conflict and the lack of maintenance of others that were not damaged make the farmers now totally dependent on rainwater for cultivation.
Farmers suffer crop losses due to drought or floods.
Women are assured equality in ownership and there is no gender bias in inheritance rights. The Land Development Ordinance (LDO) of 1935 regulates state agricultural lands given by state-issued permits to Sri Lankan citizens.
The LDO is gender neutral, but administrative interpretation and practices often favour the male.
Water availability for cultivation and domestic purposes is a major issue in all locations assessed except in Mannar.