A human rights and legal aid organization operating in Pakistan since 1980. It was the first legal aid organization established in the country. The major focus of the organization has been the rights of women, children and minorities in Pakistan. It has been an objective of the organization to use legal aid and related initiatives for the promotion, protection and implementation of human rights.
The study reviews the formal and customary laws and practices governing the rights of women to inherit land in six South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). The study includes an analysis of existing laws and customs and their impact on inheritance and land rights in all six countries. It also provides recommendations for how to design interventions that can attempt to improve women’s inheritance rights.
Taking the case of the new Shia family law introduced in Afghanistan in 2009, the author argues that international pressure for women’s rights is selective. There is no pressure for granting the Sunni women of Afghanistan or teenagers in Pakistan their rights as human beings. The current phase of condemnation is less about women’s rights and more about achieving the agenda of some Western nations to malign President Karzai’s government. I do not intend to defend President Karzai in any way but at the same time refuse to support this politicization of the Human Rights issue.
This project was implemented by Sangtani Women Rural Development Organisation Rajanpur (Sangtani) as part of their ongoing programme. Sangtani is an organisation that has been working in Rajanpur, one of Pakistan’s least developed areas, to provide counselling, mediation and free legal aid to needy women in family disputes to ensure their access to justice.
This project was implemented by Women Workers Help Line (WWHL), an organisation that has been working in Pakistan to promote women’s social, political and economic rights, including campaigns for the repeal of all discriminatory laws against women. In this project, WWHL provided capacity building, leadership training and knowledge dissemination for women peasants, for whom land rights are closely linked to issues of food sovereignty. A charter of demand for women’s rights to land and property was drawn up after consultations with different stakeholders, social movements and NGOs.
This paper deals with women’s right to land in the former Swat state areas. The author argues that inheritance was according to customary law (riwaj) which did not recognize women’s Islamic right of inheritance, disputed cases could be taken before the quazi to be decided according to the Shariat although at the discretion of the leader. But the extension of the West Pakistan Muslim personal Law (Shariat) application Act of 1962 to the Swat region in 1976 formally provided for women’s inheritance according to Muslim law.
This research report argues that women’s land ownership and control has important connections with their empowerment and there has been negligible research on how many women own land in Pakistan. This study aims to fill this gap and examine the connection between land ownership and empowerment. The focus in on women’s land ownership vis a vis private agricultural land, not residential or commercial property.