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Education for women, can Pakistan progress without it?

education for women
Girls in school in Pakistan

Pakistan is still a developing country, where there are several institutions which are providing education yet several are still unemployed. In the Urban areas of Pakistan, there are universities with a reputable name however, none of them fall under the top 100 universities of the world.

Education for women in Pakistan on a whole:

Pakistan’s population consists of 51% women, however, female literacy rate is very low. According to a report of 2011 of the United Nations Development Programme, twice as much as males receive secondary education in Pakistan as compared to females. This is a social norm in Pakistan, that men are superior to women. We live in a male chauvinist society, and although families in the urban areas are very much open to allowing their wives and daughters to get education and work, the women in the rural areas of the country face several problems regarding their studies.

The reason behind this lack of education for women lies in the typical mindset of our society: which includes the fact that, a son’s education is more important than a daughter’s because a son must earn for the family in the future while a daughter must be a helping hand in the house, among other things. Parents avoid sending girls to school because they don’t want their daughters to study in co-education, or some don’t find it necessary to spend money on a daughter’s education because most people in Pakistan are living a below average life monetarily and it is very hard to make both ends meet. So they’d rather make their daughters do child labour than send them to schools. Religious views and traditions of several people in the rural areas also affect the education for women.

Women’s education is highly important in our society, as it will help us strengthen the social status and respect for women. Educated women would be able to help the others grow, like women in the legal profession can help with legal advices while women in the field of medicine can always help treating fellow females because they would be more comfortable being treated by the same gender. Education allows women to make their voices heard, to stand up for their rights, and to participate in various different fields of life.

Although Pakistan is trying to make progress towards the education for women, it isn’t enough. We still lack in separate schools for girls, we don’t have enough qualified teachers to teach, and not enough schools or colleges in rural areas for parents to be able to easily send their daughters to school. In 2016, it was found that there was only one primary school for girls in a village of Swat, with only one teacher. We have to change this.

Advancements in empowering women through Education:

Malala Yousafzai is a symbol of women empowerment especially for Pakistani women, and is an inspiration to all here. She shows us that our women are highly talented, provided the fact that they are offered proper platforms.

A new FATA university has been opened recently, with the aim of ending violence towards women and empowering them.

Similarly, on September 21, Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak also emphasized on the importance of education for women, and the importance it holds towards the progress of the nation as a whole. He delivered this speech during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Women’s University Swabi at Kotha on the campus of Government Sahibzada Khursheed Memorial Degree College. The chief minister mentioned that this university would offer education to about 2,000 girls initially.

‘We are focused on education and a great attention has been given to providing opportunities to the girls,’ he said.

Through the promotion of education for women, Pakistan will be able to progress not only socially but also economically. It will move towards achieving the status of a welfare state, more human development and there will be gender equality.

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