Independence: male chauvinistic. By Mohammed Akmal Pasha


The instance of women disempowerment speaks volumes about their liberty; take a look at a common Pakistani woman as a common Pakistani, not in the Capital but in the suburbs. The sporadic governmental endeavors portray likewise results at national level. However, for intensive and enduring outcomes, patriotic volition is a precondition, resources would galvanize automatically. Thus, independence is by and large male chauvinistic, women are still dependent on men, as men were on Hindu-cum-British rule chauvinism before independence, August 14, 1947.
The predicaments against women empowerment are several, a few are lack of education, absence of property rights, dearth of job opportunities, limiting cultural / religious liberty, early marriages, and nevertheless security issues; all due to men in general. The plight of women disempowerment is that more than 50% of Pakistan’s population which is around 200 million comprises of women and 64.6% of the female population is illiterate, and merely 26% of the total female population is part of the formal economy. This implies that one fourth of the total women population is contributing in the documented economy. The literacy rates are generally low in rural areas of Pakistan, though Gilgit and Baltistan have 62% literate women but their contribution in formal economy is minimal. The tribal areas of Pakistan have lowest female literacy rate which is 22%, their contribution in economic activity can be guessed to be miserable. Women scarcely own any property, job opportunities by and large exist for males only (due to gender inequality); girls are espoused at an early age that throws them into the labyrinth of submission, again to man.
So far, the Government of Pakistan has taken a few steps. It has signed many international and national commitments like Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), National Plan of Action (NPA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDGs have eight main goals where one is concerning gender. Another move is the implementation of Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP) which aims at churning out gender equality. GRAP is implementing its agenda of gender mainstreaming and women empowerment through four key reform areas: 1- women employment in public sector, 2- political participation of women, 3- policy and fiscal reforms in favor of women and 4- institutional restructuring supporting women. For these objectives GRAP organizes awareness raising programs such as celebration of events, holding seminars, arranging workshops and training sessions both at district and provincial levels. GRAP has three main units to ensure that dissemination takes place on regular basis. These units are 1- Gender Mainstreaming Units (GMUs) at provincial level, 2- Career Development Centers at university level and 3- Gender Support Units (GSUs) at district level.
At jobs, government has promulgated that 10 % seats are reserved for women. On 29 January 2010 the GoP signed the 'Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill 2009’ which the parliament adopted on 21 January 2010 and it has been in practice since then. On political front, government has stipulated 33% seats for women in all local bodies (today more than 36,000 are women-councilors), further 17% seats have been reserved for women in constituent assembly, senate, provincial assembly and in national assembly. Pakistan contributes to support UN’s drive to empower women, a world body working for the empowerment of women and girls in Pakistan. On the frontier of financial empowerment, the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) is operating to eliminate poverty. Its mission is to help 7.2 million poor families in Pakistan, and so far 4.2 million of poor families have been given help through a payment of Rs.1000 per family per month, these families are headed by women who are generally widows, or divorced.
Still there is dire need to promote female education, their enrolment and completion of their studies to school and college levels and also at university levels. Government needs to arrange vocational training centers for women as well. This would help them get empowered. Further, early marriages must be banned, so legislation should be made to fix the minimum marriage age for girls to be 18 years. This not only inhibits their capacity to get empowered but also to remain healthy and alive. For example, more than one-third of the maternal deaths in the country are reported to occur among females who are married between the ages of 14 and 17 years. The absence of property rights is another issue, so there is a need of legislation that must be supportive for women in acquiring and retaining their properties. Government must incentivize both the employers and the women job-seekers, so that participation of women in jobs is enhanced. However, job environment must be rendered harassment-free at the same time through the ‘2009 Bill’. Finally, the women empowerment needs to be publicized and adequate supportive material should be disseminated through all sorts of media, especially the television, chiefly to change the men’s chauvinistic mindset.
Conclusively, these potentially corrective measures necessitate a big pool of funds and a devoted, patriotic heart should the government attempt to change male chauvinism; and unfortunately the government lacks both of these pathetically. The government of Pakistan is financially entangled, a corruption to the tune of eight billion rupees per day, the expenditure of running the national assembly equaling ten million rupees per day and a huge annual budget deficit has left the government with no option but to beg and borrow. The taxes paid by one million out of 200 million Pakistanis are not seen yielding; the others abstain from paying taxes (tax evasion) for the very reason. If famous journalist Mr. Javed Chaudhry preaches us to follow advanced nations who pay 25 % to 40 % taxes, he must realize that those nations find their taxes fructifying (in the form of facilities) at more than commensurate level. On the contrary, our ruling elites have been alleged to usurp trillions of rupees and shift them abroad, out of the very hard-earned money of the poor Pakistanis. This act of usurping at the very outset substantiates that governing bodies lack both the funds and the patriotism. The menders of the old Pakistan are looking for new ways to imbibe its assets; the makers of the new Pakistan are locating novel patterns to espouse old patrons. The country-folks are lurking betwixt the macabre cannons of the criminals like in Qusoor and the others in the unidentified political corridors, mostly men. ‘Cannons to the right of them, cannons to the left of them, cannons in front of them, thundered and volleyed.’ (Tennyson)

You May Also Like


The conundrum of TB, tobacco use and NCDs in Asia Pacify. By SHOBHA SHUKLA, BOBBY RAMAKANT

 Asia Pacific region had over 6.7 million new TB cases and over 883,000 people died of TB in 2021, as per the latest Global TB Report of the W


Can Bangladesh-Bhutan Trade diplomacy ensure a win-win for both parties? By Jubeda Chowdhry

On March 22 Bhutan and Bangladesh inked a transit deal in Thimpu, the capital city of Bhutan to ease further bilateral trades between the two count


Will lessons from COVID-19 and TB vaccine rollout improve pandemic preparedness and health security? By ODE UDUU, SHOBHA SHUKLA, BOBBY RAMAKANT

 TB high burden countries India and Nigeria both have had decades of experience in rolling out the TB vaccine. Both nations were successful (e

"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti

On demand of our readers, I have decided to release E-Book version of "Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" on website of PCP which can also be viewed on website of Pakistan Christian Congress . You can read chapter wise by clicking tab on left handside of PDF format of E-Book. ,