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Gender equality: reality or rhetoric

THIS year the theme for International Women’s Day being observed on March 8 is ‘the gender agenda — gaining momentum’.

Gender equality is an important component of gender agenda. The Global Gender Gap Index (GGI) group of the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranks countries according to their proximity to gender equality.

The GGI ranks countries according to the comparisons of outcomes for women equal to those for men, in the following four fundamental categories: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. The GGI rankings of 2012 of WEF included 135 countries. Those countries that emerged as top performers and true leaders on gender equality were Iceland, Finland and Norway at first, second and third positions respectively.

Among the lowest-ranking countries Pakistan occupied the 134th position and Yemen was at the last place i.e. 135th position of 135 countries.

The foregoing should be an eye-opener for human rights’ activists, women NGOs, political parties and legislators that gender equality should be brought into practice as soon as possible.

In order to maximise competitiveness and development potential, Pakistani society should give women the same equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities as men.

FOUZIA RAHMAN

Karachi

Source: Dawn

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