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Equality in access to property

  • Published at 04:06 pm March 2nd, 2020
bproperty issue 20'

Those who prefer a more “hands-on” approach to learning can contact organizations like Bproperty, from where information and assistance can be acquired for free

When women around the world walk hand in hand with men in every aspect of life, there is still an unnecessary stigma that prevails vehemently in Bangladesh, and especially throughout the countryside – involvement in real estate matters.

When it comes to buying, selling, renting or letting, it is men who take the primary lead. While the women in the family are asked for their thoughts and opinions in the matter, it is the fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and even uncles who handle and engage in such activities. As a result, when a situation arises where women have to take the leading role, many women in our country feel as if they are unwillingly thrust into the unknown and may encounter a panicking situation. But that should never be the case, especially in this day and age where women are more than capable of taking the driver’s seat in real estate matters. Yet, the problem persists. 

Years of neglect

The perception that real estate is a “man’s world” has put women in a disadvantageous position. There is a widespread mindset that women “cannot handle” or “understand” the complexities of the real estate sector. As a result, they are continuously deterred by males - especially those from the previous generations – at every turn when interest is shown in such matters. 

Some misunderstood religious beliefs also influence people, and women in general, that it is not a women’s place to get involved. And many a time when women decide to get involved and handle real estate related issues themselves, they have to face numerous unsavoury and unwanted situations as many conservative individuals have an unjustified reluctance and disdain in dealing directly with women. 

These years of dissuasion, negligence, disregard and rejection have broken down the confidence of many women. But the landscape is now just right to build that confidence back up.

Breaking the first barrier

The first step in rebuilding and empowering today’s women is to ensure that they have the proper knowledge about the real estate world. Much like men, the inability to understand property-related matters is the biggest barrier that hampers interest and creates dread.

While the real estate world may seem complex and quite daunting from afar, it is not a maze or a world that is shrouded in mystery. The laws and regulations clearly define what can, should or need to be done in specific situations, and there is no better alternative to gathering knowledge for this – which can be found aplenty nowadays. There are seminars and courses organized by different institutions and businesses to teach to those interested. 

The internet is another great reservoir where much knowledge regarding the real estate sector and property-related aspects are found – but as all things related to the internet, these should be used as references and be heavily cross-checked. Those who prefer a more “hands-on” approach to learning can contact organizations like Bproperty, from where such information and assistance can be acquired for free.

Dissipating fears

Armed with the right knowledge, a person, be it a man or woman, can identify the proper course of action, as well as when something is amiss. To everyday folks, there is misconduct and deceit every step of the way in real estate transactions – which is, unfortunately, not without a sliver of truth. Things have changed drastically since those dreaded days. Yet, such scenarios are not completely unheard of even today. Some misguided individuals still fall prey to fraudulent scammers. Most of the time, such scammers take advantage of the limited knowledge of the client, particularly matters related to the legal side of real estate. 

But that is not something that should be feared nor should it discourage women from taking part in real estate activities. After all, there are dedicated real estate legal experts whose services can be availed in all property-related matters. They are not hard to find nor access. But one thing a lot of women struggle with is understanding inheritance laws of the country, as not all communities follow the constitutional laws of inheritance – which are little known among the masses. Multiple inheritance laws dominate our social landscape, and some of them marginalize women. Getting assistance and legal guidance from legal veterans help to prevent any issues and dispels confusion as well as fear.

Utilizing technology

The modern age has delivered comforts and conveniences that were unfathomable only a decade or so ago. The norm back in the day for engaging in real estate activities was toiling the streets in search of properties, connecting to property owners or developers through personal or other connections and, more or less, moving forward with property transactions, often without complete transparency.

Modern technology has made all of these things almost obsolete by ushering in a new dawn for real estate services. People now can search for their desired properties from the comforts of their seats regardless of time and place, and discover properties that match their needs and desires. This allows individuals, especially women who are concerned or reluctant about real estate, to be free from unnecessary stress and be more decisive and informative regarding their decisions. Through the usage of technology, women do not have to remain in the dark, exert unnecessary physical energy, nor blindly move forward when engaging in real estate matters.

There is absolutely no reason today why women should be neglected or spurned from property-related issues. They have all the necessary tools close at hand to ensure there is equality in real estate matters and ensure they are ready to handle and manage when they want or need to. Access to property is a right for every individual, regardless of gender, and nothing should ever impede that right.

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