Property Rights in Pakistan

Property rights in Pakistan. Know what the property law says about ownership and property rights for men and women in Pakistan

What are the relevant laws governing women property rights in the country?
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 entitled 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

What is the formula for property rights under Islamic inheritance laws?

Shares under the Islamic inheritance law depend on the closeness of relation to the deceased. Shares also differ when a person belongs to Sunni or Shia sect.

Individual Women

Inheritance Right

As Mother

1/6th of X

As wife

  • 1/8th of X if she has any children
  • 1/4th of X if she does not have any children

As Daughter

  • ½ of brother’s share, if she has brothers
  • women having sisters
    • Sunni/Hanafi - 2/3rd of X is divided equally among themselves
    • Shia….total inheritance is equally divided among themselves
  • Women having no siblings
    • Sunni/Hanafi - 1/2 of X
    • Shia- All property (X)
  • X in above table means “all wealth of the deceased person after settlement of mortgages and loans”.

Are you getting minimum wage and overtime rates as notified by the Government?  You can now inform us about the minimum wage violations at your workplace by submitting a complaint form. With your information, Workers Employers Bilateral Council of Pakistan (WEBCOP) and Wage Indicator Pakistan will sort out the matter between you (trade union, workers) and the Employer. Complaint forms are available in PDF and online version.

You can also send us your compliant form on the following address:
Workers Employers Bilateral Council of Pakistan,
A-198, Block-13, Behind Jofa Towers,
Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Off Main University Road, Karachi

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