BAYAN, a socio-legal journal, aims to fill the gap in the area of legal scholarship on human rights and women’s issues especially with regard to laws and legal practice that exists in Pakistan; to provide a platform for the articulation of more rights oriented and equity based perspectives in this area; and, to provide information and critical analyses enabling equity and rights based judgements.  With these primary objectives in mind, the journal is envisaged as a tool or mechanism for change with regard to:
i.  Patriarchal attitudes towards women and the issue of violence to which women are routinely subjected.
ii. Open up spaces for critical analyses/discussions on retrogressive laws and legal judgements
a. with reference to Pakistan, and
b. also within the wider socio-cultural context at regional and sub-regional levels.

BAYAN’s point of departure from other legal journals in the country lies in the fact that it focuses on and brings to light the connection between laws, legal practice, culture and society thus highlighting the contradictions and lacunae in the laws when they come into play within the historically contingent and flexible terrain of people’s lives and circumstances.  It attempts to reach out not only to the legal community, but also addresses other civil society groups such as academics, students, human rights activists as well as the wider reading public, with a view to creating a more informed and critical awareness of socio-legal issues. Premised on the conviction that not only is debate an integral part of democracy but that it is also a means to a wider and more in-depth understanding of the issues and problems that confront us, BAYAN envisages to provide the space for the articulation of different points of view.  In this task we have the guidance and support of our regionally constituted Advisory Board.  With membership ranging from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Canada, the diversity of the group has enabled us access to different perspectives, experiences and ideas.



“It was a pleasure to read the inaugural issue of Bayan. The in-depth treatment of issues by eminent foreign and national jurists marks a very auspicious beginning for legal scholarship in Pakistan … I look at your editorial dedication as a landmark in serious legal writing in Pakistan.”


Dr. Parvez Hassan.

“Bayan [Vol 1 Gender Equality & the Law] … promotes equality in its varied implications in perspective of gender consciousness … It touches the horizons of a new epoch when the word ‘equality’ is gaining diversified proportions…Bayan has beautifully enveloped concepts residing in all parts of the globe yet proclaiming the same school of thought that vocalizes the suppressed needs of women, rendering them an equality which have been denied to them in the pretext of culture, society and religion.”

Sarah Tariq, The Nation, Sunday March 7, 2004.  

The publication of BAYAN has been made possible with the generous support of UNIFEM and DFID.



Advisory Board

Justice A. M. Ahmadi (India)
Supreme Court of India

Anees Haroon (Pakistan)
Member Aurat Foundation

Justice (R) Claire L’ Heureux-Dubé (Canada)
Supreme Court of Canada

Sara Hossain (Bangladesh)

Hina Jilani (Pakistan)
Advocate, Supreme Court of Pakistan; Human Rights Activist; Member Women’s Action Forum

Naina Kapur (India)
Human Rights Activist

Abid Hassan Minto (Pakistan)
Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of Pakistan; Political Rights Activist

Samina Rahman (Pakistan)
Educationist; Human Rights Activist; Member Women’s Action Forum

Lala Rukh (Pakistan)
Associate Professor; Human Rights Activist

Dr. Rubina Saigol (Pakistan)
Sociologist; Human Rights Activist; Member Women’s Action Forum

Nasrene Shah (Pakistan)
Educationist; Human Rights Activist; Member Women’s Action Forum

Ferida Sher (Pakistan)
Educationist; Human Rights Activist; Member Women’s Action Forum

Justice Kalyan Shrestha (Nepal)
The Court of Appeal, Nepal

Osama Siddique (Pakistan)
Advocate; Visiting Lecturer of Human Rights Law and Constitutional Law at LUMS

Justice Shiranee Thilakawardena (Sri Lanka)
Supreme Court of Sri Lanka

Justice (R) Nasir Aslam Zahid (Pakistan)
Supreme Court of Pakistan

Shahla Zia (Pakistan)
Advocate; Human Rights Activist; Member Women’s Action Forums


Senior Editor

Neelam Hussain


Enum Naseer

Iqra Saleem Khan



Assistant Editor

Ajwa Zulfiqar