Property Rights are considered the fundamental rights in Pakistan. The Constitution of Pakistan, under its article 23, gives its citizens the right to acquire, hold and dispose of property in any part of Pakistan and it does not differentiate between men and women. In the next article (24), it talks about the protection of property rights and clarifies that no person shall be compulsorily deprived of his property save in accordance with law. The other relevant laws include: -Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 -Married Women’s Property Act, 1874 -Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 -West Pakistan Muslim Personal Law Shariat Application Act, 1962 What are the provisions under these laws? In accordance with Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, a wife is entitled to all the property that she has earned for herself and also to the benefits deriving from the property of the husband. If dissolution of marriage is demanded by the wife (Khula), she is not e
ntitled to any dower. On dissolution of marriage, husband has no right to the property of his wife. Under the Married Women’s Property Act, 1874, a married woman has the right to separate property and to taking legal proceedings in her own name. A married woman is also liable for her contracts regarding her property. Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 and Muslim Personal Law Shariat Application Act, 1962 provide for inheritance of property (including agricultural) in accordance with pre-defined shared by Quran. There is no reliable data on women property ownership in the country however a 1995 study indicates that in a survey of 1,000 households in Punjab, only 36 women had property registered in their name and only 9 of those 36 had the power to purchase or sell the property without permission from their male relatives.