Protecting women’s legal rights in marriage

Venue: Conference Hall, CDPR
Date: 15th November 2018, Thursday
Time: 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm

The Consortium for Development Policy Research held a session of Lahore Policy Exchange on ‘Protecting women’s legal rights in marriage’, on Thursday, 15th November from 3:30pm to 5:00pm at 19A FCC Scheme Maratab Ali Road, Gulberg IV, Lahore. A nikahnama may be the most important legal document that a woman will sign in her life but in most cases, she is not even aware of the contents of each section and how they can benefit her in difficult times. Some sections included in the nikahnama allow women to the right to take a divorce herself, putting in financial provisions for herself and her children in case of divorce or special conditions during marriage. As government officials, it is the duty of marriage registrars to ensure that women are made aware of these fundamental rights but due to a lack of training, most marriage registrars themselves are not aware of the legal ramifications of the nikahnama. In order to fill this gap, Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) in conjunction with Local Government Community Development (LG-CD) Department undertook the provision of adequate training to marriage registrars, apprising them of their own duties, as well as rights of women in a marriage contract. To discuss the impact of incorrectly filled Nikahnamas on women’s rights and the measures being taken for the provision of their rights, the following speakers were invited: Fauzia Viqar (Chairperson, Punjab Commission on the Status of Women) – discussed the policy implications when women are not given their rightful rights by society. Kate Vyborny (Postdoctoral Associate, Duke University) – discussed preliminary findings of the CERP-PCSW rigorous impact evaluation of the impact of the training of the registrars. Sohail Warraich (International human rights activist) – discussed the legal ramifications that women face if nikahanamas are not properly filled out.