A study of gender relations in terms of women's access to, and ownership and control of, land. It focuses on Malay women's property relations, their implications for agricultural production, and their impact on peasant women's status - espcially the very poor. The author's argue that a disregard for women's land rights has seriously distorted our understanding of Malay agrarian systems. To comprehend the likely ways in which these systems may change, or to intervene constructively in their dynamics, requires taking account of how land passes from generation to generation and the role of gender in the cultural practices structuring inheritance. The authors combine their original field material with historical background in producing their analysis.