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ماہنامہ دختران اسلام > مارچ 2017 ء > Women Empowerment and Pakistan
ماہنامہ دختران اسلام : مارچ 2017 ء
> ماہنامہ دختران اسلام > مارچ 2017 ء > Women Empowerment and Pakistan

Women Empowerment and Pakistan

Mamoona Nazir (Research Scholar)

Debate on "Women Empowerment" has gone abroad through the lengths and breadth of the continents. This century provoked more discussions and criticism on women than any other century of human history ever did. There was a time when women were denounced as meddlesome intruder and defective being of society. This misery was completely incomprehensible. Retrospection across the chapters of history it is plain to observe that women have been major victim of war and conflicts since the birth of this planet. History witness the meager frail and extreme weak posture of women hardly successful in the combat of its own survival that is free from the assaults and threshing throbs of surroundings.

Social reformers humanity lovers and mainly religious leaders advocated and upgraded women status and issues more vigorously through commenting and responding meaningfully to the problems. But no religion other than Islam reshaped and transformed status of women to the extent of highness that Jannah lies beneath her feet. In the era when female child was buried alive as a legal custom, Islam honored women by granting protection and unprecedented rights.

Pakistan aroused on the surface of the earth 69 years ago in the name of peaceful, pro-women and main focused religion of the world. Islam in this century is the religion of the majority of people covering half of the civilized world. The creation of Pakistan was based on the will to free people from discriminations and deprivations they faced in past. Constitution of country established on Islamic principles guarantee equal rights for men and women. Quaid-e-Azam Muhamad Ali Jinnah the founding leader had unequivocally stated,

"It is a crime against humanity that all women are confined within the four walls of their homes like prisoners. They should stand side by side with men as their companions and in all spheres of life".

Fair observation and critical analysis shows that Pakistani women enjoy much better position in society if compared to situation in past. But unfortunately much still has to be done as ideal situation has not been attained yet. Many Laws have been formulated but beside all teachings and constitutional guarantees situation of women is very bleak. She badly suffers from social turmoil, face oppressive patriarchal structure of society and rigid orthodox, non-flexible and stifling cultural customs and traditions. Women are facing virtual annoyance and

immense inconveniences. Challenges have been intensified since recent last years. On the way forward to progress Pakistan is confronting immense hurdles. Uprising radicalism and growing extremism are the major obstacles in the way of progress. The horrendous onslaught of terrorism that has continued globally in recent years has effected world generally and Pakistan particularly. Apart from this Pakistan also suffers from high illiteracy, lack of awareness, good and forward looking leadership rampant corruption and non-utilization of natural resources. Due to lack of awareness people lack the will to advance in their life. Unfortunately, the conservative thoughts are welcomed and strengthened by the cultural misconceptions and radical self-interpretations of religious teachings. In the name of religion Pakistan faced series of heartfelt and painful tragedies.

Islam and constitution both guarantee equality for people including equality of sexes. Not only west suffers from misconceptions and distortion about religion but also Pakistani society is unaware of the status that Islam that Islam accords to women including the right to property work, wages, choice of spouse, to divorce, education, and equal participation in economic, social and political activities.

Intolerance, imbalance and gender disparities in Pakistani society are pervasively prevalent. Traditional and institutional constraints prevent women to play active role in national sphere of Pakistan. Honor, pride, and passion pave paths for institutionalised domestic violence against women. Due to this Pakistan rank pathetically the lowest in the global development Index and gender and empowerment measures.

Empowering women is empowering society. Concerning Women is concerning progress of entire nation. Benefiting women is benefiting entire society. Putting tools in women`s hand is actually supporting global development. Today women in Pakistan need a very special treatment to their critical social problem. All the feminist efforts did not reach to significant turning point or to the edge of result orientation. Due to social and communal challenges, many women fail to participate productively and share their part cooperatively for the betterment of society. It is an urgent need of time to focus women issues in Pakistan. Improvement in educational and health facilities, equality of rights, opportunity building and extending nutrition hygiene and sanitation to the poor urban and rural women are the integrated approaches needed to be addressed soon.

In both traditional and modern societies of Pakistan, women contributes on large scale but her efforts are not made visible and are not much appreciated due to communal and social challenges

Main barriers in achieving results from women efforts are:

    Women input are not recognized. This is the main constraint in achieving improved outcome

    Poor literacy rate.

    Women especially in rural areas lack authority of decision making.

    They are restricted to participate in skill development.

    Limited access to participate in skill development.

    Limited access to education and appropriate health services.

    Lack of skills in value addition and marketing.

    Overburden and high workload with prolonged malnutrition.

    Low skills and low paid activities.

    Poor economic policies with no reforms.

    Gender disparities

    Limited role of women in marketing in farm

    Lack of women ownership rights.

    Male access to agricultural machinery in rural areas.

    Lack of community interest

    Non-recognition of women contribution.

    Poor Nutrition practices

    Constraints in access to agricultural extension.

Women play a pivot role in the entire mechanism of the society. We live in a male dominant society where there is a cultural dominancy of masculine gender which could never be denied. There are certain ties and limitations which mark a boundary line between these two and hence specific roles are assigned to be practiced individually. In spite of all this women round the glob have now been started recognized as an equal entity of the society as males as they are contributing shoulder to shoulder to men in every progressing aspect of the civilization. In Pakistan like many other developing countries women are more likely to remain as housewives and caretakers of homes rather than doing jobs outside home. In rural areas of Pakistan almost 40 percent of women are assigned to work in fields as well as they works for their homes and children. The whole responsibility of the house and children from giving birth to them to their

adulthood is laid on this feeble creature and it happens many times that working women in fields get a very meager return of their day and night hard work. In urban areas of Pakistan though the trend is gradually getting changed and women are getting skilled education. They are making themselves independent and earning and this transformation in the society is brought by literacy rate elevation and awareness.

Through promoting gender equality and creating suitable environment for women will eventually generate more result. We have to work together to make this society a perfect reflection of humanity by elevating status of women in the societies of Pakistan. Call of an hour is to mold the destiny of women through directing the right sense of direction supported with the perfect model to be followed. We need to serve fully the purpose for which this country was established. To overcome development issues, it is incumbent upon state to initiate programs and projects to achieve gender equity and equality. Interests, problems and potentials of both women and men should be taken into account. Only this can guarantee prosperous Pakistan.

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