Sir: One of my students from Islamabad, who had the opportunity to visit some rural areas in Sindh and Balochistan last month, asked me the following question: when will our rulers provide opportunity, equality and education to the deprived and denied women of rural Pakistan? No country can achieve its full economic potential without the active participation of women.
Economists, social scientists and proponents of women’s rights consider women’s economic empowerment fundamental for sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction and food security. Many women in rural Pakistan are discouraged from seeking higher education or pursuing a career in conventional and non-conventional domains. Traditionally, women and girls in the rural areas do manual labour but they desire to work on more modern and scientific lines to help raise their children and improve their economy. Is there anyone who can take pragmatic steps to educate and empower rural women to improve the ailing rural economy?