Women and Girls Educaiton in Pakistan. An Opinion and Factsheet

"No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you; we are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live.” Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 1944

Women who are the first teachers in the family set up should be provided with adequate and functional education. But in Pakistani society females face many problems for getting education. The reason for the low rate of education among females is primarily attributed to religious and social conservatism, which inhibits the movement of girls outside the home. In some places, particularly northern tribal areas, the education of girls is strictly prohibited on religious grounds.

As society is male dominant people want their son to get education and want their girls to work at home. Young girls have to look after their younger brothers and sisters. Since there is so much to be done at home, they cannot be spared for the luxury of attending a school. Poverty is also a hurdle in female’s education. The resources of the poor parents are so limited that they do not have anything to spare for their daughter education. If there are resources available it the boy who is sent to school first. Parents also do not see the value of educating their children specially daughters who would get married after all and be only housewives. Since they cannot see any direct relationship between education and economic betterment, they have very little motivation to send their daughters to school. It is still not being realized that there is definite connection between education, good motherhood and efficient house management and to educate a women you will educate a nation.

There are differences between the education of men and women. Inadequate education or no education is the most important factor contributing to the backwardness of our masses, especially our womenfolk. It is the low literacy among women which brings national literacy figure so low. The female literacy rate in Pakistan is only 42 percent, compared with male literacy rate of 67 percent.  This gap which exists between the literacy rates of the two sexes also exists between the enrolment of girls and boys at all levels of education. Right from the primary school to the university, we find that the number of girl students is considerable lower than the number of boy students. We can see it especially in rural and backward areas where the numbers of females in educational institutes are very less than males. The literacy rate for urban women is The educational status of Pakistani women is among the lowest in the world.

Some people think that women would cease to fulfil their traditional roles if they received a higher education. Also as a result of this lower literacy most women are unaware of their legal rights. This is an added disadvantage to women who are victims of all kinds of violence. Some parents want their daughters to get married in teenage so they can’t get education. Feudal lords are also the big hurdle in women education.

Research conducted by Pakistan's Ministry of Women's Development and by international agencies in the 1980s and early 1990s showed that "danger to women's honor" was the parents' most crucial concern.

Pakistan has never had a systematic, nationally coordinated effort to improve female primary education, despite its poor standing.

Despite the progress women have made towards equal opportunities in education. Women must continue to fight to receive the education they deserve.
 

 

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