Gender equality is in abysmal state in Pakistan. It is due to the lowest literacy rate for women in Pakistan. It is a dilemma that a gnawing gap exists between men and women in our community. This gender gap puts Pakistan is second last place for gender inequality in Gallop Report 2016. A deterioration can be noticed in Pakistan’s ranking. This report features parity in four different areas and educational attainment is also one of them. Pakistan did not make any significant changes in educational attainment since 2015. This gap can be stymied by proper education awareness.
A general inclination can be found that society spends money and efforts in son’s education while a hindrance exists in case of daughter. It is due to some conservative mindset which restrains education for woman. It confines their role for household chores and child bearers only. Some customs and traditions are also huge barriers against women education. In rural areas, women are not allowed for higher education and they face barriers from both family and society in case of joining college or university. Their attitudes, thinking, beliefs and poor self-esteem is a serious cause for this discrimination. Unfortunately, if a family allows any girl for education then society does not accept and welcome her for education. Early marriage, pregnancy, physical and mental violence are some serious issues. This society sets their future as wives and mothers within the premises of house.
Education is the key to fight against social evils like violence against women. It is the only tool to bring peace, prosperity and development in society. Unfortunately, Pakistan is facing failure in this sector specially in rural areas. Ironically, many politicians and religious scholars are also against women’s education. It is due to poor policies, evil norms, unhealthy environment, gender gap, lack in funds and awareness.
Women must be provided with equal educational opportunities in order to eliminate social evils and to achieve gender equality. Though women have started fighting for their rights but still a lot of work is needed to be done. They have broken social norms and bondages hampering to excel in educational field. Some negative stereotypes are still trying to stop this progress either on political or religious forums.
Still women are making remarkable efforts through distant learning programs. If a family open their doors to universities for higher education then they can make remarkable transition in vocational training, engineering, medicine and law. Government and policy makes should launch awareness campaign and career counselling. It is a dire need to establish such policies, syllabus and curriculum for gender equality. They should recruit more female teachers in government schools and colleges in rural areas.
Facilitating girls with education will help them to break chains of social evils, gender discrimination and social abuse. It will help them to stand against customary practices of early marriages and to protect them from physical and mental violence.
Written by Hassnain