IT is a widely accepted fact that achieving gender equality is one of the prerequisites of sustainable development.
However, Pakistan presents a bleak picture in this regard. Women have to suffer owing to discriminatory laws, socio-cultural traditions and practices in society.
They are deprived of basic rights such as right to life, right to health,and right to participate in politics.
Gender disparities are visible in every aspect of life. Women are less educated than men, their health and nutritional status is lower; their mobility is strongly restricted; and their access to employment and income-generating activities is limited.
Domestic and sexual violence is the norm of the day. Bearing sons increases a women’s status, whereas girls are considered a liability.
Deep-rooted cultural biases and institutional constraints restrict Pakistani women from playing an active role in public and private decision-making.
Longstanding and entrenched gender inequalities, as well as a high level of illiteracy, badly affect rural women’s health.
A women’s rights struggle has been going on since independence.
The 1973 Constitution provides for non-discrimination against women and their representation through reserved seats in assemblies.
Moreover, in order to change the situation in favour of women, various parameters have been adopted by NGOs, civil society, lawyers, thec media and informal sectors. Women themselves made major sacrifices.
Now some visible changes are taking place in every occupation.
Women are asserting their identity and coming forward in each and every field of life. The struggle goes on till equal rights are achieved in all aspects of life.