a) A hard hit reality despite major declarations and constitutional reforms.
b) It can be seen everywhere in society whether social, political, economic or Cultural Sphere.
c) Need a pragmatic solution and strong political will.
2. Gender Discrimination is not a new phenomenon
a) History of the world is a strong witness to this phenomenon by blaming the woman and by considering her a cause of all evils.
3. An overview and examples of some developed nations
a) World health organization report, showing a clear picture of discrimination.
b) Social economic, political discrimination all around the globe in various forms
4. Picture of Pakistan also not satisfactory
a) Second most dangerous place for women.
b) Discrimination in every sphere of life whether social, economic and political with gender parity Index 0.87.
c) Despite constitutional provision, women are the deprived section of society.
d) Gloomy pictures and examples
i) Mukhtara Mai case – a victim of harassment
ii) Malala Yousuf Zai – allegedly attacked (by hard care section) for promoting girls’ education.
5. Reasons Behind this Abysmal state of Affairs
a) Patriarchal values are embedded in the society.
b) The feudalistic mindset of rural areas’ leader is hampering feminist element
c) Lack of democratic culture and education leads to inequality.
d) Misinterpretation of religion and extremist culture is contributing a lot.
e) The reluctance of politicians and judiciary to implement strict rules
f) Weak rule of law and lack of respect for the constitution
6. Impacts and consequences of this discrimination
a) Gender disparity in the education sector in the form of high dropout ratio of female students from the school.
b) The social fabric is deteriorating day by day
c) Tarnished image of the country in world community
d) Crimes and extremist elements on rising
e) Economic backwardness due to lack of half population in economic activity.
f) Sectarian and Ethnic clashes on the issue of this discrimination
g) High mortality rate of mothers due to inappropriate health facilities in rural areas.
7. Comparison with India-somehow same situation
7. I) India was known as the fourth most dangerous country in the world for women.
7. ii) Gender disparity in education male literacy rate 82% while female literacy rate 65%.
7. iii) National Crime Records Bureau comes up with an increased figure of crime against women in India from 2011 to 2012 6.4 % increase in crime ratio.
8. A few Ice-breaking evidence in Pakistan
a) Malala Yousuf Zai, the youngest Nobel peace prize laureate
b) Sharmeen Obaid, Oscar awarded
c) Arfa Karim, Youngest Microsoft certified.
d) Women sportspersons-ambassador of the soft image of Pakistan.
9. Steps taken to curb this discrimination
a) At the international level, Millennium Development Goals 2000, Education for all
b) At National level Pakistani Women Protection Bill, 2006, 33% representation in parliament 10% quota in CSS.
c) Criminalizing Acid attack.
d) Adoption of Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010
e) Women in Distress and Detention Fund Act 2011
f) Increasing maternity and child health centers in Pakistan from 628 to 687 in 2014 to make sure women are getting appropriate health care facilities.
10. Recommendations to ensure equality
a) Good Governance by ensuring rule of law, accountability, and justice.
b) Democracy both in process and culture is the solution of all grievances
c) Strong political will and best implementation methods
d) Education and awareness among masses especially among females.
e) Vibrant media and civil society can also play an important part in this regard.
f) Empowering women in every sphere, by ensuring the implementation of women empowerment developments.
Women empowerment is the best solution to deal with the issue of gender discrimination against them.
“All citizen are equal and are entitled to equal protection of the law”, one of the articles of the constitution of Pakistan 1973 and likewise. All beings are born equal and there should be little discrimination on basis of sex, one of the articles of Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, shows a very liberal picture about females in our society but the reality is on the other side Gender discrimination is a hard fact of our society as well as around the globe. Women are discriminated in almost every sphere of life whether social, political, economic and cultural. In Pakistan, Human right commission report is witness to violence and abuses that are being practiced in our society. Our social fabric and cultural values are promoting this patriarchal values are our leaders are not paying any attention to it. Education is still a far dream in our large section of society. These all have serious implications on the social, economic and political structure of our country. A serious and pragmatic solution and visionary leadership is a need of time to check this discrimination against weaker gender in Pakistan.
Discrimination in “XX” and “XY” sex is not a new phenomenon. It started a short after the birth of the first male that is “Adam” and female “Amma Hawa”. As Amma Hawa was and is still blamed by some Jewish, the main factor behind the expulsion of Adam from “Jannat”. Though it is related to religious psyche so it could be ignored most of the developed nations of today namely Britain, France, America, and Australia witnessed this discrimination even in the 19th and 20th century. No right to express her will in these developed nations. So the history of the world is witnessing this discrimination very clearly and unambiguously.
The current scenario is not far different. No country in the world is free of it. This discrimination is seen in almost all fields, whether social, cultural, economic or political. In the social scenario, male dominance always deprived women of their social rights and domestic violence against them is very common. According to the World Health Organization Report, 2011
One out of three girls becomes the victim of domestic violence in the form of rape, abuses, and harassment in her lifetime, around the globe.
This is clearly showing the gloomy picture of discrimination in the world similarly, 74 girls for to boys have access to education around the globe. 350 million more girls are out of school as compared to boys Economic discrimination is not far behind. Women are deprived of making choice of her career.
Politically they are still under the influence of man and in developing countries of Africa, South Asia their political will is of little importance. Even in India, there is still a trend of burying girls while other crimes i.e. abduction and gender harassment show an alarming picture. India is known as the fourth most dangerous country in the world for women. Report on crimes against women by the National Crime
Records Bureau states increases of 6.4% in these crimes from 2011 to 2012. So Gender discrimination is not an issue of a specific society or country but it can be seen everywhere in the world. Owing to the weak physical strength of female, they can be exploited at the hands of men.
Pakistan with more than 50% population of the female cannot be ignored in this regard. Being part of the South Asian nation, its culture always supports the male dominant society. Discrimination can be seen in its social fabric, its cultural values, and politico-economic structure. According to a global survey.
“Pakistan is the Second most dangerous place for women after Yemen”
Similarly, Gender parity under of Pakistan is 0.87, which is not considered even satisfactory. Though our constitution is not in favor of this discrimination and provides a lot of articles to protect women’s right and ensure their equality. Articles from the constitution of Pakistan define and give a lot of rights to men and women without discrimination. One such article is as:
Everyone is equal before the law and is entitled to equal protection of the law (Article-125)
The constitution ensures women’s participation in the national sphere but the reality is different and equality is nowhere seen in Pakistan.
Feudalistic culture allows the male to enslave women and to rule them which even allows them to do honor killing of females without any real evidence. This can be clearly seen in the human right commission report of 2011
One thousand Girls are murdered in 2011 in name of honor killing (Human Right Commission report- 2011)
The same can be seen in the latest Farzana killing a case of 2014. Similarly the traditions of Wani,
Karokari Watta Satta and marriage to the Quran, which is strongly prohibited by Islam is still prevailing in our society.
Education is the only way to enlighten women and men is not considered to be an important part of our system. In this field, discrimination is also at its peak with 48% female literacy rate against
71% male literacy rate lack of education keeps women ignore their fundamental right and make them submissive to their male master.
Political and judicial reluctance to give female their basic rights is also a trigging factor in this scenario. The passing of a lot of Bills and amendments are not sufficient. The real thing is implementation. And this implementation is not seen anywhere as Mukhtara Mai Case of 2002 is still pending. Though it gained international coverage still no action is taken, then what about other cases. Though women are given 33% seats in parliament they are unable to exercise their political will. Political leaders are of feudalistic mind so they can to do serious action in this regard.
Mis-interpretation of religion is often used as a tool to our extremist part of society. This extremist element was first used by Zia ul Haq in form of Hudood Ordinance 1979, and inform of slogans like “Aurat and Char Dewari” and then our extremist mullahs and terrorists make full use of this religious misinterpretation. The attack on Malala Yousaf Zai in October 2012 was a clear manifestation of this extremist element as this attack was allegedly carried out by militants against the promotion of girls’ education.
Psychological impacts are more than others. Women in rural areas are considered themselves as an inferior element of society who cannot move forward or compete with others. According to a local NGO report Cases of psychiatrist female patients are more than male. This psychological frustration is not only confined to one female but one complete family and generation is directly or indirectly influenced.
Economic backwardness is also a direct impact by not involving 50% population in economic activity. Women are being employed in the agricultural sector and non-waged sectors of the economy. In Industry only 25% of labor force is employed, who is also a victim of sexual harassment or low wages. This state of affairs could not help a country which is already suffering an economic dilemma. It is well said as:
Nations that ignore their females are just like a man who trains his left arm and ignores the right one
Crimes, ethnic violence and extremism are also some of the major consequences of this discrimination. A frustrated female cannot be brought up a moderate child. Her frustration will be seen sometime in the future in the form of a criminal, extremist and frustrated national of society.
Give me educated mothers; I will give you prosperous nation (Napoleon)
Tarnished image of the country in the international community is also a major consequence. The country which is considered as one of most dangerous place even for its own half population, how it would be considered a safe place for others.
The social fabric is deteriorating day by the day. As this discrimination has no end even in detention where the police are safeguarding women, they are not safe. According to the Aurat Foundation Report 2011, there are 270 cases against female abuses in jails while others were hidden because of fear of police.
Similarly, 2 rapes are reported every two hours in Pakistan.
National integration and even the concept of the nation on the base of which this country
“Pakistan” gained independence is not completed by excluding the women out of this fabric the Islam, the very ideology of Pakistan, does not give any right, to anyone to exploit its human beings on the basis of sex alone. So women have an important role in political stability and national integration to unite all factors of society.
Several efforts are made globally and nationally to address this like Universal Declaration of human rights, 1948 and Unite to all to Eliminate gender discrimination by the United Nations and also the education for all 2000 to but still fruitful results are not obtained likewise in Pakistan efforts are made by signing Millennium Development Goals 2000 and Education for All and similar other conventions locally Pakistan made remarkable efforts in the form of Women Protection.
Act, 2006 and prevention of Sexual Harassment Act, 2010 and other bills and by giving 10% job quotas in civil service and 33% representation in parliament but no effective results are seen in this regard.
There is a need for logical planning and its strict implementation. Good governance and democracy can ensure equality and freedom as democracy is the solution of all grievances in the prevailing situation of Pakistan. Civil society and women present in parliament can play an important role in this regard. Access to education and awareness through our vibrant media can play an important role in enlightening our society. In succinct, it can be said that gender discrimination against women is a hurdle in the development and progress of a nation. By empowering women and by encouraging them to participate and to represent society is the best solution to pull out the frustrated section of our society.
The developments in recent years in Pakistan and the neighboring country India show a positive sign that things are changing even the countries with alarming figures of crimes against women.
A few developments regarding women empowerment are a silver lining behind cloud Present government (2018) in Pakistan is a state party to the convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) while adoption of protection against harassment of women at workplace Act 2010 and around one million women receiving direct assistance from Benazir Income Support Programme are some of the initiatives taken to empower women in Pakistan. Enlightenment given by electronic media has played a vital role in changing the scenario of discrimination against women in countries like Pakistan.
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