The Women's Marriage Rights Project aims to improve knowledge and awareness of youth in Pakistan on marriage rights in the nikkahnama through a number of engagements and activities. In addition to this, the project will provide a platform for research, scoping and policy review and engagement on marriage rights in the nikkahnama. The findings from these activities will be used to design and develop improved access to legal aid and representation for women and girls in cases involving marriage.
In June 2022, the CFHR in collaboration with the American Bar Association – Rule of Law Initiative, launched the first thematic clinic on women’s marriage rights in Pakistan. The Marriage Rights Clinic offers law students an opportunity to gain hands-on knowledge of, and experience in women’s marriage rights. The Clinic aims to equip students to provide legal advice and support representation of clients on a range of issues such as khula, custody, recovery of dower, etc.
The Clinic will provide students with knowledge of the substance of marriage laws and rights contained within the nikahnama as well as providing them with insight into the process and procedure for filing such cases in court. During the course of the clinic, the students shall gain key legal skills, such as legal research, writing, and analysis, through various assignments and activities. In addition to the legal training, the students will have the opportunity to work on skills such as advocacy, client interaction /interviewing, identifying implicit bias, etc. Through the academic exposure as well as practical training at the clinic, the law students will have developed the capacity and confidence to support women in marriage rights related cases when they go on to become lawyers.
A total of 20 students from Universal College Lahore and Kinnaird College for Women participated in the first Marriage Rights Clinic from June – August 2022. Moreover, a total of 20 students from UCL, KCW, LUMS and PCL are participating in the current Marriage Rights Clinic (Legal Aid & Advocacy) – September 2022 – March 2023.