In male-dominated societies, female inheritance often means that women function primarily as bearers of property from father to husband, rather than as active stewards of their property. Therefore, a woman’s marriage determines with whom her family will share her land. This induces her male relatives to control her marriage decision and premarital relationship.
To combat this and protect women’s property rights in Pakistan, the Inheritance Awareness Project was launched in 2021, to educate women and men on women’s inheritance rights as per Pakistani law.
Over a period of seven months, more than 5,500 women and 1,500 men participated in more than 30 districts and towns, villages, including remote parts of Sindh, Punjab and KPK. As part of this project, different sessions were conducted in colleges and communities.
The agenda of these sessions was to raise women’s awareness of inheritance rights, to highlight the issues faced by women in Pakistani society in general, especially in the rural parts of the country, and to educate them through through content screenings and open discussions, as well as empowering them to express their rights. SOC Films outreach teams also highlighted the free legal aid offered to women by the Sindh Legal Aid Call Center (SLACC) on 0800-070806.
In Hyderabad, Sindh, women in the audience were grateful to learn how inheritance was divided according to Christian law, especially in circumstances where there was no will in place. “I will tell my struggling bhabhi to call this number and ask what is due to him as my brother recently passed away”
In Sujawal, Sindh, an elderly lady mentioned that many people have taken over her land in her village and that she would now call the helpline to ask them to step in and help: “I am happy that this system came to protect women’s inheritance rights. ”
In Peshawar, KPK, a woman said, “Men here don’t think women should participate when inheritance issues come up. However, now that we know our rights, we will use them wisely, especially for women in our society who have seen their families torn apart or have been abandoned due to the untimely death of their husbands.
“When it comes to a woman’s legal right to inheritance, it is a lack of awareness that prevents her from asserting her legitimate rights. With this project, we are working to educate women from all walks of life across the country and empower them to have their voices heard,” said Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
Produced in collaboration with The Legal Aid Society and the National Commission on the Status of Women, the project consists of screenings and sessions centered around 9 animated films in 8 regional languages, which aim to shed light on the law marital and legal property in Pakistan. .
– You! office