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Pakistani law grants daughters some property rights

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Sat, 7 Jan 2012 19:39 GMT
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NEW YORK (TrustLaw)—

A Pakistani regional assembly has unanimously passed a law ensuring property rights for women, though stipulating daughters should receive half as much of their parents’ property as sons would receive in accordance with sharia (Islamic) law, according to a report.

The law was passed on Jan. 5 by legislators in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, Radio Mashaal, a division of RadioFreeEurope and RadioLiberty, reported.

“Now it is up to the women to be aware of and to fight for their rights,” Arshad Abdullah, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s law minister, told Radio Mashaal.

The implementation of the law in a timely fashion is also part of the legislation, Noor Sahar, the assembly deputy who introduced the law, told Radio Mashaal.

“The court will decide any case (regarding women’s property rights) within six months. And within one month of the court ruling police will accompany that particular women to (her family) to (ensure she) attains her right (to property),” she said.

A five-year jail sentence and fine of 50,000 rupees (about $550) will be imposed on anyone who disobeys the court’s order.

Inheritance rights for women pose an issue in many countries and, in some cases, it goes beyond the inheritance of wealth and property. In many Arab countries, men are free to pass on their nationality to their children born to foreign women, but the same rule does not apply to the children of women married to foreign men.

In November 2011 the United Arab Emirates issued a law awarding the same rights to children of Emirati women married to non-nationals as to those born of two Emirati parents, according to a report by AFP.

According to the law, such children can apply for UAE citizenship when they reach the age of 18 and can enjoy the same rights as UAE nationals before they are eligible to seek the citizenship of the Emirates.

(Editing by Rebekah Curtis)

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