Pakistan ranks 104th in International Property Rights for women

18:38, July 22, 2010      

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Pakistan has been ranked 104th out of 125 countries in property rights for women in International Property Right Index (IPR) 2010, local newspaper The News said referring a study report on Thursday.

Despite the fact that 98 percent of the Pakistani population is Muslim and the religion Islam gives the right of inheritance to all inheritors either male or female, but the Pakistan's ranking shows the poor condition of the inheritance rights for women in the country.

The issue was raised in a study titled "Denial of Women's Rights of Inheritance: Enhancing their Vulnerabilities to Domestic and Social Violence" recently published by the "Awaz Foundation Pakistan".

The research showed that ownership of house and land is greater for men (65 percent) as compared to women (15 percent).

The study focused on the core objectives of identification of people's perception and practices about women's rights of inheritance, identification of lacunae in the procedural requirements of the inheritance law and verification of incidents of violence against women on the basis of practices regarding inheritance.

The research was conducted in the southern part of Punjab province with a specific focus on five cities, the most exposed to violence, including DG Khan, Vehari, Sahiwal, Rahimyar Khan and Muzaffargarh.

It said that the constitution of Pakistan also protects women's right of inheritance and so is the other laws of inheritance prevailing in the country, such as Muslim inheritance law that guarantees the inheritance of women as per Shariat (Islamic Law).

But in spite of these laws in the country it is nearly impossible for women to get their rights.

The study mentioned that about 90 percent of the total respondents were of the opinion that people thinks that women should be given share in the inherited property, whereas only 10 percent of the respondents were of the opinion that the society does not even consider it as a right of women.

When asked whether the communities actually give the right to women, 100 percent of the respondents were of the opinion that it is not practiced at all.

Interestingly, 70 percent of the female respondents were of the opinion that they do not demand their right of inheritance due to uncertainties prevailing in their marital life.

They feel that some times during their life after breakup with their husbands, they might have to go to their parents.

The respondents were of the opinion that women, by all means, have to keep strong relations with their families and they relinquish their right of inheritance to please their families especially parents and brothers.

The study also showed that female respondents who owned land or a house were found at significantly lower risk of physical and psychological violence among their in-laws.

Women's lack of education, empowerment, leadership and decision- making skills are also the main reasons for the discrimination widely practiced in the society.

In aggregate, 56 percent blamed complicated legal system and discriminatory laws.

Source: Xinhua


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