ISLAMABAD: A survey report has disclosed that while Pakistan has made progress in how more people now think that women deserve equal rights and should work. However, incidents of domestic violence have soared in the country instead of falling.
These figures, contained in a report prepared by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), were quoted during a seminar on Evolving Attitudes on Gender Equity in Pakistan organised by USAID in the federal capital on Tuesday.
US Charge De Affairs Paul Jones said that the survey report regarding the difficulties women face was very beneficial.
“For societies to thrive, women and girls must have educational and employment opportunities, quality health care, and access to technology,” he said, adding that in this modern age, both genders should receive equal opportunities in every field.
Long gone were the days when inclusion of women was considered dispensable but now, he said that the development of a country goes hand in hand with the participation of women in the workforce.
“Gender equity and women’s empowerment are not just part of development – they are at the centre of every country’s development goals,” he said, adding that empowering women would result in building an empowered society which was only possible through good education.
According to the report, there has been a 15% increase over the past seven years in the number of men who favoured equal rights for women.
Moreover, some 85% of women and 80% of men are in favour of equal rights for women.
Similarly, the opinion on the right to employment for women has increased by 11% since 2011. Around 76% of men and 90% of women who said they were in favour of women working.
However, the report noted that cases of domestic violence have increased during this period. The report said that one of the reasons for this was greater reporting of incidents of domestic violence unlike in the past as there has been lawmaking against this practice.
The report further identified that some 24% of men believed that striking women was their right.