Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, November 13, 2009

Yefit: "What's the Constitution Got to Do with It? Regulating Marriage in Pakistan"

Karin Carmit Yefit has published What's the Constitution Got to Do with It?  Regulating Marriage in Pakistan, 16 Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy 347 (2009).  Read the full article here.  Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

Pakistan’s legal regime, particularly the status of its women, is the subject of considerable academic and media interest both domestically and internationally.  The legal plight of Pakistani women is well documented, and virtually all accounts stress the brutality with which their rights are violated.  They are portrayed as subject to a legal system that allows them to be veiled,secluded, silenced, harassed, mutilated, forced into prostitution, beaten, raped, murdered, and otherwise humiliated. This study, however, seeks to unravel for the first time a different and surprising picture of the marital rights of Pakistani women and the protection afforded them by the Constitution. While the legal literature is replete with discussions of both marriage law and constitutional law, the interplay between the two within the context of Islam seems to have largely escaped scholarly attention. This article seeks to fill this gap; it explores the actual and potential intersections of Pakistan’s Constitution with legal regulation of marital love, and reveals the uniqueness of this system and its striking sensitivity to women’s rights . . . Ultimately the article concludes, the exemplary Pakistani regime may potentially serve as an illuminating model for the productive and complementary utilization of Islam and constitutional jurisprudence in the regulation of a marriage law respectful of human rights.


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