What are the basic legal rights of married women in Pakistan? How many of us know about married women’s legal rights? The topic is highly debatable nowadays in Pakistan. Feminists or non-feminists are equal supporters of married women’s rights. Once a girl gets married, she becomes the responsibility of her husband; a partner for a lifetime. She leaves her blood relations behind and moves forward with the start of a new life.
Islam has given rights to women for married life. Married women’s rights, if exploited or not fulfilled, leads to damage of relations and society.
Here is a list of the basic legal rights of married women in Pakistan:
Equality of citizens: As a citizen of an Islamic republic of Pakistan, every woman is equal in the eyes of law.
Right to education: Education is a basic right of every woman. She can continue her studies with the consent of her husband after getting married if she wants to.
Haq Meher (Bridewealth): Haq Meher is money or gift given at the time of marriage to the newlywed bride. It’s her legal right to get that wealth.
The right to divorce: If a woman is unhappy with her marriage and wants to end the relationship, she has the right to file a “Khula” or divorce.
Maternity benefits for women in employment: The status of maternity benefits is now getting importance due to daily needs and advancement of education standards. Health is a basic right of married women so they have the right to have maternity benefits from their employer.
Separate accommodation: Married women have the right to get themselves separated from their in-laws if needed.
Support: She has the right to get support medically, financially, and psychologically.
Privacy: She has the right to privacy in the joint family system. No male or female member can be allowed to enter her room with force or without her consent.
Right to hold a job: She can hold a job to keep herself busy or to contribute towards the expenses of daily life. She can also support her husband in times of need.
Property right: A husband has no right over his wife’s property without her permission and he cannot force her to give the property. Property rights are legal rights and women should be aware of them.
Rights of basic needs from her husband: Married women have the right of getting food, shelter, and clothing from the husband. They also have the right of getting monthly or yearly expenditure(money) from husband.