THE CONSTITUTION AND FEMALE-INITIATED DIVORCE IN PAKISTAN: WESTERN LIBERALISM IN ISLAMIC GAR

THE CONSTITUTION AND FEMALE-INITIATED DIVORCE IN PAKISTAN- WESTERN LIBERALISM IN ISLAMIC GARTHE CONSTITUTION AND FEMALE-INITIATED DIVORCE IN PAKISTAN: WESTERN LIBERALISM IN ISLAMIC GAR

KARIN CARMIT YEFET

INTRODUCTION

In recent years, there has been an ever-increasing fascination with human rights in the Muslim world, particularly the subordinate status of wo-

2011] The Constitution and Female-Initiated Divorce in Pakistan 555

men in Islamic law and culture.2 Westerners in general and feminists in particular have dreaded the possibility that the Islamic revival sweeping the Muslim world will turn back the clock on women’s legal and social rights.3 The West’s growing unease with violations of women’s rights in Muslim countries has made this issue a top priority for nations and advocates alike.4 Since the position of women in a given society is perhaps nowhere better reflected than in the personal status laws of a nation,5 this Article explores the legal norms surrounding divorce. Indeed, domestic life represents the sphere in which women across the globe tend to be the farthest from attain- ing equality, and subordination in the home serves as a springboard to wo- men’s subjugation in almost all conceivable spheres.6 A path to freedom from tyrannical marriages is a key factor in promoting women’s equality in social, political, and economic arenas.7 Accordingly, the value of scholarly inquiry into Muslim women’s struggles in—and to escape—oppressive fa- milial settings cannot be overstated.

THE CONSTITUTION AND FEMALE-INITIATED DIVORCE IN PAKISTAN: WESTERN LIBERALISM IN ISLAMIC GAR

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