Right in Talaq Law in Pakistan:
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RESPONSE TO STATE REPORT:
As women still require the consent of male guardians (wali) to marry or alternatively need to seek the authorization of a (male) judge, they do not have the same capacity as a man to conclude marriage; Requiring a guardian to grant his consent to a marriage, even for women who are legal adults, and requiring a guardian’s approval for a woman even to obtain a driver’s license or passport, makes women perpetual minors. Thus the OPSL treats women for talaq law in Pakistan or khula fees in Pakistan as inferior citizens by requiring the compulsory presence of a guardian (wali), denying them their fundamental right to equality and non-discrimination, and requiring male supervision of their basic right to choose a spouse, Adult women should have complete agency and autonomy in these matters by law without incurring the burden of having to pursue judicial remedies in order to validate their personal choices.
This is derived from the concept of “protecting” women as they enter into marriage, which is paternalistic and does not recognize the present-day circumstances, where women are educated and earn a living and undertake equal responsibilities as men regardless talaq law in Pakistan or khula fees in Pakistan.
EARLY AND CHILD MARRIAGE CRITICAL INFORMATION:
In Pakistan, the minimum legal age for marriage is 18 for females and males, as per Article 7 of the OPSL. However, Article 10c of the OPSL provides that a judge may permit a girl or a boy below 18 to marry after verifying that the marriage would be “beneficial.” The law does not stipulate an absolute minimum age below which a judge may not authorize a marriage; therefore, child marriage is permissible at the discretion of a judge.
Khula Fees in Pakistan:
2011 Concluding Observations (COBs) of the CEDAW Committee on talaq law in Pakistan or khula fees in Pakistan stated that the Committee was concerned with reports that despite legal prohibition, the marriage of girls under the age of 18 is still widely practiced and accepted by Pakistani custom. The Pakistani government, in its 2016 State party report to the CEDAW Committee, stated that – “Although custom recognizes marriages below 18, the Registrar of Marriages does not. Marriage registration is compulsory, and consequently, it is forbidden to register a marriage where a partner is under 18. Child marriages, which are concluded through an agreement between the fathers of the children, are socially and legally unacceptable and are not practiced at all in Pakistani society on talaq law in Pakistan or khula fees in Pakistan.”
RESPONSE TO STATE REPORT ●
The Sultanate’s claim that child marriages are not practiced in society because of mandatory marriage registration is untrue as these marriages, albeit unregistered, continue to occur; According to Pakistan’s 2014 Multiple Cluster Indicator Survey, about 18% of women aged 20-49 in Pakistan were first married by 18, and 6% of women aged 15-49 were first married by 15. In addition, about 3% of women aged 15-19 are married.