This handbook examines legislation, court decisions, common law, legal structures and legal practices in the Pacific Islands through the lens of a human rights lawyer and feminist, committed to the pursuit of gender equality. Fuelled by the prevailing realities of injustices against women, Jalal travelled the region prior to 1998, critically analyzing and documenting gender issues and the law, and their intersections. Written in user-friendly language, the 700 page Handbook demystifies the law and provides readers with a practical understanding of how the law affects women.
In 2013, the original Handbook by Jalal was updated by the Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) of the Pacific Community (SPC) in the form of the Supplement to Law for Pacific Women: A Legal Rights Handbook (96 pages). Despite some good progress, the Supplement shows that there is much more work to be done before gender justice is fully achieved. The Handbook and Supplement are designed to be used together.