Karachi(Cliff News)The Law Department, Government of Sindh and Legal Aid Society (LAS) officially launched their Sindh Legal Advisory Call Centre (SLACC) Annual Report “De-constructing Conjugal Rights in Pakistan Law.”The SLACC is a unique public-private partnership between the Law Department, Government of Sindh and LAS. The SLACCis a toll free call-in number (0800-70806)for the general public to obtain free legal advice and guidance.Its objective is to create greater legal awareness and increased access to justice particularly for underprivileged and marginalized segments of society.On this occasion,the Annual Report authors Maliha Zia and Naima Qamarpresented SLACC’s research on conjugal rights and gender roles within marriage through a legal and feminist Islamic framework. The report included analysis of 233 cases proceeded before Superior Courts and 789 calls received by SLACC on restitution of conjugal rights (RCR). The report highlighted that RCR provisions is gender neutral fulfilling requirement for formal equality but in reality it is being used primarily against women, thus not providing substantive equality. Women, unfortunately, cannot and are unable to successfully use this provision due to social constraints and legal bias.Mr. Shariq Ahmed Secretary, Law Department, Government of Sindh provided the audience with salient feature of the 1-year performance of the SLACC. Since 1st July 2018 till 10th December 2019 SLACC has registered 42,669 queries from more than 45O cities, towns and villages across Pakistan.Mr. Muhammad Zubair Habib, CPLC Chief discussed the importance of access to justice and legal needs. He emphasized that efficient legal aid system can significantly contribute in improving access of vulnerable sections to justice and reduce legal exclusion.Justice ArifKhilji, Chief Legal Advisor of SLACC shared successes and the human impact of SLACC’s provision of free legal advice to those most vulnerable in society. He emphasized the importance of the service, as the average citizen is not aware of his/her legal rights.Barrister MurtazaWahab, Advisor Law, Government of Sindh gave the keynote address, pointing to SLACC as a uniquely effective model of a public-private partnership that provides an invaluable service to civil society in upholding the rule of law.Ms. Mehnaz Rehman, Resident Director,Aurat Foundation appreciated LAS for discussing the important legal issue of conjugal rights on this platform. Justice Nasir AslamZahid, Chairperson,LAS, concluded the event by appreciating the Sindh Government’s efforts to promote the rule of law and for facilitating the unique public-private partnership with LAS.