“Moving Forward with the Legal Empowerment of Women in Pakistan”—Special Report by Anita Weiss for the U.S. Institute of Peace

May 1, 2012—The United States Institute of Peace issued “Moving Forward with the Legal Empowerment of Women in Pakistan,” Special Report 305,  by Anita M. Weiss, professor and head of the University of Oregon Department of International Studies and vice president of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies.

About the Report

There are a variety of contexts in which the empowerment of women in Pakistan can be considered, but none is more critical than law: How women’s legal rights are framed is fundamental to considering how best to advance women’s empowerment. After situating women’s legal rights in Pakistan, this Special Report reviews key features of recent legislation affecting women’s rights, explores the controversies surrounding this legislation, and elaborates on ongoing challenges to develop further legislation, particularly in light of opposition from Islamist groups. While the legal empowerment of women in Pakistan has seen progress, far more must be done to enable the laws passed to be implemented, bring Pakistan into conformity with the goals and ideals of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and secure an environment where women in Pakistan have viable choices in their own lives.