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Gorazdevac Media Group: A limited number of women choose to accept their share of the inheritance

Our cooperating partner Gorazdevac Media Group draws focus to one relevant social issue particularly common in the Western Balkan. Although equal before the law, many women in the region still do not inherit property. There are many cases where they even voluntarily give up their familial portion to another member of their family.

“From my point of view, women have the right to inheritance. Whether a woman is married or not, we should consider ourselves equal. In rural areas, women are still in stagnation and hesitate to accept the inheritance that rightfully belongs to them, fearing conflicts with brothers or other relatives. I believe that there should be discussions with women so that they understand they need to emancipate themselves and know their rights” says Miroslavka Simonovic from NGO “Briga”.

She points out that a small percentage of women decide to take on a part of the inheritance and recalls a case where a brother, without informing his sisters, sold a property and was unwilling to share the profit with them. The sisters opposed this action, reported the issue and successfully claimed their rightful shares.

“When we compare the current situation with that of a few years ago, as I previously mentioned, there has been a modest improvement. In the past, claiming a portion of your brother’s share or your father’s land could lead to immediate avoidance and refusal to communicate” added Simonovic.

Women may avoid asserting their inheritance rights due to cultural norms that discourage challenging traditional family structures. They often prioritize family harmony over individual rights, not wanting to create conflict or tension with parents or brothers. Cultural expectations of dependence on parents, even after marriage, frequently prevent women from demanding their inheritance rights, as they may fear losing family support.

Other factors that contribute to the reduction in the number of women inheriting property are related to limited representation of women in decision-making bodies which diminishes their influence in shaping policies and practices related to inheritance rights. Also, property registered solely in the husband’s name can create legal issues for women to claim inheritance, reinforcing patriarchal structures. In this line, low levels of education among women may lower their awareness of legal rights and their ability to navigate complex legal procedures.

To address the issue of unequal inheritance rights for women, key steps include legal reforms, targeted awareness campaigns, and educational initiatives promoting gender equality. Collaboration among governmental bodies, NGOs, and stakeholders is essential to enforce legal changes. Moreover, media platforms can play a crucial role in challenging stereotypes and raising awareness. By combining these efforts, we can create sustainable change and correct the issue of unequal inheritance rights for women in the region.

Watch the full video here: Gorazdevac Media Group: A limited number of women choose to accept their share of the inheritance

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