CAN WOMEN BE EQUAL TO MEN IN PAKISTAN:
Presently women in Pakistan are at disadvantageous position as compared to men, but an equal status for women can be achieved it a concerted effort is made at the societal and national level.
Factors downgrading the Status Of Women:
- Patriarchal orientation of society.
- Culture promotes inequality.
- Barriers to girls’ education.
- Economic dependency.
- Absence of true voice in Parliament.
- Domestic violence.
- Forced marriages
- Sexual harassment at work places.
- Women themselves condone inequality.
Government Initiative To Promote Gender Equality:
- Establishment of women welfare ministry.
- Legislation to protect women rights.
- Domestic violence (prevention and protection) Act 2012.
- Prevention of anti-women practices (criminal law amendment) Act 2011.
- Protection against harassment at work places Act 2010.
- Increased quota in seats of National Assembly.
- Increased quota in Jobs.
- Women entrepreneurship initiative.
Steps to attain Gender Equality in Pakistan:
- Women Education.
- Awareness of women rights.
- Combating violence against women.
- Economic emancipation.
- Providing jobs to women.
- Guaranteeing rights of inheritance.
- Ensuring protection of property.
- Challenging the anti-women cultural practices.
- Role of civil society.
- Media has a role to play in transforming the conservative attitude.
- Regional complaint cells.
- Participation in decision making through political empowerment.
- Ensuring reproductive health and rights.
- Organization working on women rights must be promoted.
- Federal and provincial governments must work seriously and with coordination.
Giving equal status to women in Pakistan is in the benefit of the country. No country can truly progress if half of its population is out of workforce and dependent on other family members. Though government has made some significant steps in promoting women rights, but much work still needs to be done. Every stakeholder must play its due part for women to achieve their rightful status. Above all, women must stand up for their rights as no one else can do it for them if they themselves condone inequality.