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Gender discrimination cause of decline in HDI

THE United Nations Development Programme has released a report about the development of Pakistan. Pakistan’s ranking on the Human Development Index has changed from 123rd to 125th in this year.

The 54 per cent of Pakistan’s population is living under critical conditions in terms of access and provision of basic necessities of life like education, health, standard of living and so forth. UNDP calls it a ‘multidimensional deprivation’.

Why is 54 per cent of the population facing such a critical situation?

The reasons and causes beyond it can be many, but gender inequality and discrimination is also a major variable that creates hindrances and obstacles to the path of achieving improvement in education, health and low standard of living.

To be a woman in Pakistan is still considered a crime and not a human being. The woman is not given importance and status as compared to the man. She is discriminated almost in all spheres of life. She is not sent to school.

It is questioned as to why a woman’s education is necessary when she has to be a housewife. Her brother should be going to school instead.

Also, she faces more diseases in her life because she is not brought to hospitals at the first occurrence. She is given less food and is, therefore, malnourished.

These differences are socio-cultural and so they should be redefined. In this discriminatory attitude in terms of gender inequality, Pakistan scores 112 among 139 countries. Therefore, if we want to progress and improve our ranking on HDI, we have to change our behaviour and attitude towards women.

The woman should be considered a human being. She should be given all facilities and opportunities that are given to a man.

This change will lead us towards development.

INAYAT ALI
Islamabad

Source: Dawn

Date:3/3/2011

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