Gender Equality in Pakistan: Samiullah
History bears testimony to the fact that women have been subjected to discrimination in various fields of life. Much has been said about gender equality in Pakistan. Undoubtedly, legislations have been carried out but implementation of those laws is still a daydream. Without strict implementation of laws and economic independence, gender equality remains a distant dream.
The fact cannot be denied that majority of the men in the land of pure cringe at the mention of term ‘gender equality’. Whether indoctrinated or part of socialization, they do not even think of giving women equal opportunities in social, economic, political and religious fields. If by chance or by the dent of pure hard work any woman enters these ‘prohibted’ arenas, they are termed immoral by the conservative mindsets which is dominant in our country.
The participation of women in the field of politics is next to nothing as compared to the population of the country. The question is whether they willingly distant themselves from this important field of life or not. The answer is a big NO. They have systemically been cornered by the society.
Similarly, economically independent women are few and far between. In most of families any woman who strives for economic independence is discouraged and looked down upon by the male chauvinists.
Women like Shaheed Benazeer Bhutto, young Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai or even Fatima Jinnah, the sister of Quaid-e-Azam were subjected to derogatory remarks by the orthodoxy.
Albeit, many basic women rights have been enshrined in the constitution but they are not being implemented in letter and spirit. The mere legislation does not ensure gender equality.
There is a million dollar question; how is this lack of gender equality affecting the country? The answer is, since women consist half of the total population, the country cannot emerge as prosper state on the world map without their participation in every field of life.
In a nutshell, untill every single individual is given equal rights and opportunities, our beloved country continues to languish in poverty and lawlessness. Hopefully, the leading figures learn a lesson from the past and work with zeal to ensure gender equality is brought into force which is mandatory for a prosperous and developed country.