The status of women in Pakistan varies greatly in social, economic, religious and ethnic factors. However, one thing that remains the same in every division is the constant struggle for reform for the betterment of women in this country. The same pattern can be seen in the concept of women’s land and Property rights and their control and ownership of land in Pakistan.
A 2014 survey by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in rural Punjab found that only 36 out of 1,000 surveyed households were owned by women, and that only 9 has the option to sell, or trade without the consent of your male relatives. The World Bank also analyzed that 4.3% of women own land in Pakistan (World Bank, 2013). Women who own land alone (% of women age 15-49), highest is the percentage of women age 15-49 who only solely own a land which is legally register with their name and cannot be sold without their signature. Each wealth quintile represents one fifth of households with quintile 5 as the richest 20 percent of households while quintile 1 being the poorest 20 percent of house hold. Only 3 % of women who own agricultural lands.
Laws for women rights in term of Women’s Land and Property Rights originate from the Sharia law, in force in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Article 23 of our constitution states. “every citizen shall have the right to acquire, possess and dispose of property in any part of Pakistan.” And then there is article 25. Which guarantees equality of rights for all citizens, regardless of gender, race or class, and empowers the government to take positive steps to protect and promote women’s rights. Although these laws are put in place, the fact that women exercise them is questionable. Socio cultural barriers serve as a hurdle for them to practice their rights and they remain a marginalized group.
The main reasons revolve around misconceptions molded in most parts of Pakistan, especially in rural areas. Women are denied access because they are not considering responsible enough. And it is traditionally considered unacceptable for sister to ask for family land or for any woman to claim a fair share of her land. The low literacy rate among women is another reason. why they are not informed about tier respective rights and land laws. They do not know how to go about land registration and transaction procedures, the formal process of land acquisition.
An outdated and unfair the system of granting women their rightful share of land is in Pakistan. there have been some positive changes made to try to reform this system. When the PPP government took control in 2008, the Benazir Landless Hari scheme was implemented to grant over 212, 8864 acres of government owned land to landless farmers. It gave more priority to women since 70 percent of the intended 5800 beneficiaries of this scheme were meant to be women.
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