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Over half of women say they enjoy same rights as men

By: Myra Imran

International Women’s Day present a grim picture of gender equality in Pakistan, more than half of women surveyed by Gallup believe they enjoy the same rights as men.

These interesting findings and many others about women were released in the Gallup Survey report issued on the eve of International Women Day.Conducted from Feb. 24 to March 2, 2013, the survey covers issues ranging from violence against women to colour preferences. In this survey, only women were asked different questions about vital issues.

The survey says around 51 per cent of women in Pakistan believe they are equal to men, while 47 per cent disagree. A majority of women (21 per cent) considered Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah as their role model, 20 per cent voted for Benazir Bhutto, 5 per cent preferred Noor Jahan, 1 percent chose Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan and Nusrat Bhutto, while 12 per cent said they had no role model.

Among prominent women who are alive, 10 per cent voted for Bilquis Edhi, Malala Yousafzai and Afia Siddiqui got 4 per cent votes, while 16 per cent said they had no ideal.In a question concerning the worst crimes against women, 39 per cent termed acid throwing, 24 considered domestic violence, 21 percent thought honour killing and 13 per cent said Vani was the worst crimes against women.

Twenty-seven per cent of women consider the birth of their child as the most important event in their lives whereas 26 per cent respondents said their wedding day was the best day they had.

Among the total number, 73 per cent of the respondents said women and students need separate transport services whereas 23 pc said there was no need for separate transport.A majority of women (32) believe lack of education is the biggest problem facing women, 21 per cent said physical abuse, while 18 per cent termed cultural practices the worst problem. For 14 per cent, lack of health facilities, for 7 per cent lack of employment whereas 6 per cent believed lack of balance between family life and employment was the biggest issue.

The question about responsibilities of men and women received interesting answers. Around 52 per cent agreed that taking care of children was the responsibility of women, 7 percent said men should take care of children whereas 40 per cent said it was the collective responsibility of parents.

About supporting the family, 58 per cent thought it was the responsibility of men, 19 per cent said women should support the family, whereas 23 per cent said they should both share the burden.

A majority (64 per cent) said women should do the household chores, 13 per cent voted against the notion and said men should be responsible for this work whereas 22 per cent said men and women should both take the responsibility.

Among the total respondents, 21 per cent said women were responsible for taking care of education and the upbringing of children, 28 per cent voted for men whereas 50 per cent said both were equally responsible.

Keeping in mind the past 100 years, 66 per cent said it was education that mainly improved the lives of women, 23 per cent said family planning and the same number considered employment as the basic reason for women development. Interestingly, 8 per termed Internet or social media access and 12 per cent said use of mobile phone had a major role to play in the improvement of a woman’s life.

Regarding child preference, 45 per cent said the total should be not more than three to four, 23 per cent preferred five to eight, 21 per cent said one to two, while 2 per cent said more than eight. Seven per cent who preferred none.

A majority (40 per cent) believed two boys was the right number for an ideal family, 23 per cent preferred one boy whereas 17 per cent voted for at least three boys. Four per cent of the respondents believed eight boys made an ideal family whereas 8 per cent said having a boy was not necessary for an ideal family.

Similarly, for a girl child, 37 per cent thought two girls were enough for an ideal family, while an equal number of respondents (37 per cent) said one girl was the right number for a perfect family. Around 10 per cent preferred three daughters whereas 11 per cent voted for the option ‘none.’ Only 1 per cent said more than four daughters made the right size.

Answers to question “In which of the following circumstances is divorce by a man justified?” also had interesting responses. Around 63 per cent believed it should happen only when a woman starts taking drugs, 41 per cent said when a woman becomes angry and argumentative, 37 per cent said when there was no love between the husband and wife whereas 36 said a husband had a solid reason to divorce his wife when she is unable to bear children.

When asked about colour preferences, 17 per cent termed red their favorite, 16 per cent said black while an equal number of respondents voted for pink. Around 16 per cent said they would prefer to wear pink on the most special day of their life.

Source: The News