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Albertina Almeida is a lawyer, human rights activist, independent researcher, journalist and teacher based in Goa, India. She holds a Ph.D. in law, the subject of her thesis was ‘Matrimonial Property Rights of Women under Family Laws of Goa’. She has co-founded several initiatives such as Bailancho Saad, Saad Aangan, Citizens' Initiatives for Communal Harmony, SEZ Watch, and is a member of the Al-Zulaij Collective and of Social Justice Action Committee Goa. She was a member of the Permanent Lok Adalat for North Goa for almost two decades, and a member of the Family Law Review Committee to review and update the family laws of Goa.


Dr. Albertina Almeida will share her experience about the operation of equal matrimonial property rights in Goa, India, in respect of the ownership of property, across religious affiliations, in a society where social reproduction has been historically and continues to be the onerous responsibility of women, and social conditioning circumscribes women’s acts and decisions in everyday life. It may be noted that Goa still has the legacy of the Portuguese Civil Code in part, so far as the family laws are concerned. Hence the various personal religious laws applicable in mainstream India to Indians, do not apply to Goans. Dr. Almeida proposes to make out a case that equality across religions or even across genders does not suffice and that the current binary debate on uniform versus nonuniform civil code fails to address gender concerns and factor in the various roles of social reproduction undertaken by women. Also, the presentation will highlight the difference between the right to ownership of property and the right to control of property. Finally, the question that is being posed is whether the family unit can operate in isolation from a society where the grund norm for shared ownership of property is lineage and not labour? This begs the question of what the social, economic, cultural and political determinants for enforcing property rights are.

The Laws of Social Reproduction project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (under grant agreement No. 772946).

For more information about the project, please email

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Prabha Kotiswaran

Professor of Law & Social Justice

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