PAKISTAN’S second-last standing on the list of 136 countries surveyed for gender gap is embarrassing, as well as alarming. The problems women encounter in the country is not shrouded. It is time that gender discrimination was ended in Pakistan for good.
However, substantial steps must be taken now to address the predicament lest we bag the same status in the next gender gap report too.
There are umpteen steps which need be taken, but the one I would like to mention is none other than education.
Not only should girls be provided stipends for enrollment, they should also be provided security at schools so that nobody could abduct them from there.
Security should also be tightened around schools to prevent any weapon attacks.
Moreover, women’s quota in competitive examinations should be increased, but more important is that women should be encouraged to apply for these examinations. For this, their age should be relaxed by at least two years.
There is a solid ground for demanding the age relaxation, as more than 60 per cent of the populace is rural where girls face many difficulties in continuing their education and most of the time there are gaps between successive years of education.
Even in urban areas women confront many problems.
Early marriages are conventional and marital engagement results in several years’ gap between educational years. Other misfortunes like parents’ illness and death also hamper women’s education more than that of males.
If there is a will to upgrade the dire conditions of women in Pakistan, the above-mentioned conditions need to be complied with.