Pakistan is a poor country and still fighting for economic stability, security, education and health needs of its people. According to the statistics of United Nations, the population of Pakistan is 193.2 million. Pakistan ranks number 6 in the world by population. According to the World Bank collection of development indicators, in 2015, 61.24% of the population lives in rural areas.
As far as women in our society are concerned, they are not honored and respected fully, especially in villages. In rural areas where most of the population is ignorant and illiterate, women are not provided with apposite opportunities, for education. They usually have to work with their husbands in fields. They were not allowed to participate in literary, cultural, social and political activities. In Pakistan’s economy, rural women play a crucial yet ignored role. Almost, 79.4% of rural women are doing agricultural work, but they are not paid or receive very low income than men for the equivalent labor. And they face many constraints because of limited resources. They have no access to free medical sources and guidance. They are less likely to be taken to hospitals than men in times of emergency.
Ignorance and the lack of education is the major issue in rural areas. They usually suffer from gender-based violence, torture, discrimination, and brutality from male members of their family. Women rights are badly violated in the name of norms, culture, and traditions and result in various crimes such as “Honor Killing” or “Karo Kari”. They are being brutally slaughtered in cases of “Karo Kari” and “Honor Killing”. Almost, 5,000 women a year are still being killed in the name of “Honor Killing”. In the month of July, several wrenching stories of honor killing were reported from various parts of Pakistan. The victims include working women, adult female students, and of course ‘free-will’ marriages cases. A six years old girl being sacrificed in the name of “Vani” to pay ransom for crime and sin of some of her male family member. There is no honor in Honor Killing.
In Pakistan, lawmakers and lawbreakers are mostly men. What suits them is right and otherwise is wrong. In the world of men, their life is a constant struggle for survival. Men punish them for the sins they have never committed. They have been captured in a cage of masculine ego and finds no way out.
Woman feels as I quote
Her voice has been suppressed
In Pakistan, we are losing three women per hour because of pregnancy-associated complications. Almost, 375,000 women suffer every year from pregnancy-related complications. More than 80% women are delivered at home in the presence of unskilled birth attendants. In the majority of secondary and tertiary healthcare centers, emergency obstetrical care is not available on a twenty-four-hour basis.
Pakistan has very talented women working both at home and outside the home to make the country the better place. In 1988, Ameena Saiyid took over as the Managing Director of Oxford University Press, and she became a first Pakistani woman to head a multinational Pakistan. Flying Officer Mariam Mukhtiar is a proud daughter of the soil. She embraced martyrdom while facing technical failure. She achieved the fate that most of the warriors only dream about, proving all the people wrong who believe women can only work in a kitchen and became Pakistan’s first female martyred soldier.
Similarly, Flight Lieutenant Ayesha Farooq is not only a soldier of the nation; but also a great inspiration for all the Pakistani women. Flight Lt. Ayesha is the first female to become a fighter pilot in Pakistan Air For. She has successfully proved that women can do anything with strong determination, even in high-risk professions.
On May 19, 2013, Samina Baig set foot on the summit of Mount Everest. She made a great effort to break the stereotypes attached to Pakistani women and became the famous women of the world. Naseem Hameed is also a role model for Pakistani women; she is a young Pakistani athlete. Her untiring spirit and victory are exemplary for Pakistani Young women. Iron Lady Muniba Mazari is a great inspiration for all Pakistanis. She is an artist, model, activist, creative writer, motivational speaker, T.V. host, and singer. She is the first UN Women Ambassador in Pakistan & wheel-chair bound model.
While our society struggles to support women empowerment on several fronts, women like above have inspired many others by proving that taboos can be broken and dreams can be achieved. Such women in our society have given several other women a reason to believe, and as a result, more and more talented women are coming to the forefront in different fields of life.
The government of Punjab has passed a women protection bill against violence. And various NGO’s and organizations are working for women empowerment. If we wish to see our country progressing by leaps and bounds, women should be allowed to work shoulder to shoulder with men in every sphere of life. We should get rid of conservative thinking and accept the reality that women are an integral part of the society.
The main duty of a woman is to preserve the human race. She has to look after the home and manage it to the best of her ability. She should not neglect her duties as a wife or a mother. If she does not do so, the society will go the dogs. Islam and constitution of Pakistan have confirmed upon women an enviable place. As far as the emancipation of women is concerned they should be free to participate in every political, social, economic and political activity but they should realize their duty as Muslim women. They should not misunderstand and misuse the rights and powers given to them. They should participate very wisely in the main flow of life and contribute to the peace, progress, and prosperity of the country.
“Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little” (Samuel Johnson)
Women themselves need to understand what role they deserve and what is given to them. They need to take the charge of their own lives and struggle for their independence and compatibility in all fields of life. They must find the ways to improve their status in society step by step and consistently. They need to have restless motivation and commitment towards their goals and to create an impartial environment for themselves where their talents, aptitudes, and creativity would flourish and appreciated as a human being.