Women in Pakistan have been fighting for their rights for many years. Till today women are seeking justice and striving for equal rights. One of the major crises faced by Pakistani women is their property rights. There has always been huge confusion around the fair property rights of women in Pakistan. Also read our blog Property Registration process in pakistan.
The confusion increases and becomes a rift regarding the real estate ownership and division of property inheritance among siblings (mainly women). Women in Pakistan face certain cultural and social restrictions. Moreover, many women need to be made aware of their property rights and how to exercise them accordingly.
The women in villages are mostly illiterate, and being unaware of their property rights is expected. This is one of the reasons that women often end up giving away their property shares to male relatives.
The constitution of Pakistan and Islamic Shariah has declared women’s rights, and it is a fundamental right for women to own, sell or invest their rightfully inherited real estate under Pakistan’s constitution.
Laws for Property Rights of Women in Pakistan:
In the constitution of Pakistan, there are clear laws protecting and governing the property rights of women. Let’s have a look:
- Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961
- Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939
- Married Women’s Property Act, 1874
- Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Act, 2011
Realtorspk.com is here with precise details of women rights in property in Pakistan.
Right of Inheritance for Women in Pakistan
Women’s right to inheritance is considered their fundamental right in the constitution of Pakistan. The country follows the rule of Sharia to divide the inherited property after the death of the real estate owner. Read to know more About Property Taxes in Pakistan.
The right of inheritance is one of the fundamental rights of women in Pakistan after the death of a property owner. Islam has given a rightful share in real estate; the rights are protected under Muslim Personal Law Shariat Application Act, 1962, and Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961. The laws ensure that every woman will get their fair share of property in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Penal Code Section 498A warns against the unfair distribution of inherited real estate. The section talks in detail about the results of forcing women to leave their rights on the property or surrender it to any male relative. The text of Section 498A states that,
“Whoever by deceitful or, illegal means deprives any woman from inheriting any movable or immovable property at the time of opening of succession shall be punished with imprisonment for either description for a term which may extend to ten years but not be less than five years or with a fine of one million rupees or both.”
The inherited property is divided based on the legal heirs’ number and gender. Many other conditions also affect the shares of every heir. Nonetheless, it is the general formula that is used to distribute property. Also checkout PLRA Appointment Online Booking.
It is important to remember that the total inherited amount is calculated from movable and immovable assets of the deceased person only after paying off his mortgages, liabilities, and loans. Once everything is settled, the assets are divided according to Shariah law among defined property heirs.
Moreover, remember that women’s property share increases or decreases according to the number of male heirs.
1. Daughter’s Inheritance Rights:
The women get half of her brother’s share in the inheritance of her father after his death. It means a male inherits two shares under the prevailing law, and a female heir will get one.
On the contrary, if a woman has sisters, but no brothers, then two-thirds of the inheritance (after clearing loans and debts) will be equally distributed among all sisters. Moreover, if a woman is only a child, she will get half of the property from her deceased father’s inheritance.
2. Mother’s Right of Inheritance:
After the death of a son, a woman gets one-sixth of the property. The remaining property will be divided among her husband and the children of the deceased son. If the person had no child or siblings and was the only heir of the parents, the mother would get one-third of the property. In contrast, the remaining would go to the deceased person’s father.
However, if the deceased person has a brother but no child, the mother will get one-sixth of the inheritance.
3. Wife’s Right of Inheritance:
The wife will get one-eight of the inheritance if the deceased has children. On the contrary, she will get one-fourth of the inheritance if he has no children.
Remember that specific circumstances can affect the division of property in Pakistan. Additionally, the quantity of shares a woman receives varies in different sects and religions.
Miscellaneous Property Related Rights of Women in Pakistan:
A woman has exclusive rights and authority to own real estate. Let’s look at some of the property-related rights of women in Pakistan.
1. Dower (مہر) & Dowery:
A woman is the only owner of the property she received as Mehr. Dower or Mehr is a gift that the husband receives at the time of Nikah. A husband is bound to pay the dowery, and its form and quantity are mutually decided between the groom and bride’s families.
If the woman buys real estate from the amount of Mehar, she will be the sole owner of that house. According to the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961, and Property Transfer Act 1882, a woman is allowed to sell the property under her name without her husband’s consent and without even sharing the revenue with any in her family.
It is pertinent to mention that she has complete property ownership even if the marriage does not survive. But if her petition dissolves the marriage, also known as Khula (خلع), she does not have the right to claim her Mehar.
2. Will and Gift Deed:
Women have an equal right to execute their will, just like men. One of our society’s significant misconceptions is that women cannot execute a will. Under the Law of Pakistan, a woman does not need to inform or take permission from anyone to dispose of one-third of her property (to whom she is the sole owner) in Pakistan. However, if the share on any legal heir exceeds one-third of the property or favors anyone from the legal heirs, she is obliged to take the consent of other heirs.
Moreover, she can give away all her property through gifts in her lifetime and execute a deed that instructs how to distribute her property after death. A woman is the sole owner of the property she gets through a Gift deed in Pakistan.
Let’s wrap it up:
So that’s all for now! A woman should be aware of their rightful rights, as mentioned in Islam and the constitution of Pakistan. The laws are comprehensive and transparent. In case of any issue or dispute, she can legally consult with a professional and get her fair right in property.
We hope this blog proves to be a comprehensive guide to women’s Property Rights in Pakistan. The government is also simplifying the laws and making amendments so that women can get their justified share in inheritance.