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Womens Rights and the Family Laws

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to look at the statutory family laws of Pakistan, their Koranic foundations, how the courts interpret and apply them, and to what extent they protect/undermine women's rights. It focuses, therefore, on the analysis of the case law of the superior courts and on the 1961 Muslim Family Laws Ordinance (MFLO). The ordinance extends to Muslim citizens only and has an overriding effect over all other laws. It provides that the personal law of the parties shall govern all family disputes. The ordinance provides for adequate, and in the case of more than one wife, equitable maintenance during and after dissolution of marriage. However, in contrast to criminal law, most of the issues in relation to family law seem pretty clearly settled and the courts have interpreted and applied the MFLO in a way which protects women's rights to a fair extent.

Keywords: Koranic foundations; Muslim Family Laws Ordinance (MFLO); statutory family laws



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