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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Netizens criticise policy to include husbands’ name in passports of women

Interior Minister and DG Passports Mustafa Jamal Qazi are receiving strong backlash on social media.

The government is considering modifying the policy for married and divorced Pakistani women to include the husband’s name in passports. The new will instruct married women to bear the name of their husbands instead of their fathers in the passport.

Currently, women can retain their father’s name on their Computerized National Identity Card even after marriage. They can have their marital status updated without changing the name of the bearer in CNIC. However, since passports are made on the data in NADRA, women will be required to make new CNICs or update their husbands’ names in the CNIC before they can be issued a passport.

As per the new policy, the divorced women will have the name of their ex-husband’s included in the passport. This contradiction in the policy of two government institutions has raised questions and brought authorities under criticism.

Interior Minister and DG Passports Mustafa Jamal Qazi are receiving strong backlash on social media.

Senior politician condemning the policy said that “Ridiculous & discriminatory- does it also apply to a divorced man? A passport is a citizen’s travel document & such information is irrelevant. A woman also doesn’t need to change her surname/family name, CNIC after marriage just like a man doesn’t change his name.”

An X user said, “Divorced women are divorced because they want to be free from ex-husbands and that freedom includes passports”, said another user on X.

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DG Qazi in a talk with a media outlet said that the update in the policy has been done by the international policies. While CNIC is used in Pakistan only, a passport is a travel document, and hence it needs to comply with international standards. Hence, married women are required to carry the name of their husbands.

“These rules are driven through the act of parliament and the secretary of interior has constituted a committee under his chairmanship to solve this issue. The committee will look into the passport policy concerning the condition of a married woman’s passport bearing her husband’s name instead of her father’s name,” Kazi said in a talk with Arab News Pakistan.