Pakistan is a developing country and gender discrimination is a significant issue in society. Women are facing several challenges in daily life and are not getting what they deserve because they are considered second-class citizens in the country in many respects.
Sons are not only preferred to daughters but they are also provided stupendous opportunities of health, education and a career whereas the ill-treatment of women is a global issue and they are not allowed to pursue their careers.
Women hardly get equal wages in various parts of the world. With regards to the property rights of women, a woman does not always receive property from her father, mother, brother, or husband, which further heightens women’s dependence on men. Unsurprisingly, politics is considered an executive field of men. As a result, women not only face reduced opportunities in the political domain but also have less of a say in the political decision-making machinery.
There are many causes that have made gender equality invisible in society. Poor implementation of laws is the first and foremost cause. In Pakistan, there are only sixty reserved seats for women in the National Assembly. These reserved seats are normally filled by women belonging to the industrial and feudal class.
In addition to it, the conservative mindset is also responsible for certain prejudices against women in society. Lastly, there is often economic dependence of women on men which compels them to compromise on their respect.
Normally, a man is the breadwinner of a family and in conservative families, the woman is supposed to act like a housewife. This particular opinion does not let women become free of economic dependence on men.
As every problem has a few effects, domestic violence is an offshoot of gender inequality. Secondly, a woman is not safe on the road or in public places—the motorway incident is an important example of this. Therefore, women are not able to participate in commercial activities actively; they are more than 52 percent of the total population of the country. Their share in economic development is a lot less than it should be.
It is highly alarming for a country like Pakistan that a significant portion of half of its population is sitting idle at home. Unsurprisingly, acid throwing and honour killing have become the norm of the day in the country. Usually, criminals are set free due to faults in the criminal justice system. When they are acquitted of the charge without any hurdle, they feel encouraged to destroy the lives of more women.
There are many suggestions to turn gender equality from a myth into reality. There is a need to build more educational institutions for women. No nation can be succeeded without the power of the pen. It is rightly said that education is a real panacea to all socio-economic hurdles of the country. The role of parents is of paramount importance in this regard as well.
The world is changing rapidly and educated women are required to stimulate the economy of the country. Parents should not pay heed to outdated beliefs and should send their girls to school to save their future. In the same manner, strict execution of laws curbs acid throwing, honour killing and harassment at the workplace against the woman is important.
Criminals are encouraged to commit these heinous acts because they do not get punished. Religious scholars can give a counter narrative to curtail the ideology of religious bigots. They can come forward to guide the public about the real status of women in Islam.