Monday, 3 November 2014

Women’s Education in Pakistan

The situation of women in Pakistan

"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’s Education in Pakistan

Pakistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. The picture of educational conditions is grim in Pakistan. More than 40 percent of girls never enroll in school. “The situation is especially alarming in rural areas due to social and cultural Obstacle.
More specifically in KPK and Baluchistan women are severely bound by cultural constraints and prejudices. They are involved in productive, reproductive and community work for 14-18 hours, in these areas the female literacy rate stands between 15 per cent and 25 per cent. a day as well as in northern tribal areas the education of girls is strictly prohibited on religious grounds. Those girls who go schools their attendance rates in primary, secondary, and post secondary schools are lower than boys.”This is a gross misinterpretation of Islam.

Pakistan is a Muslim’s country;
The dominant religion is Islam about 96 per cent of the population is Muslim, which like all religions urges men and women to acquire education. In Islam, it is clearly mention that it is obligatory for every man and woman to receive quality education. This clearly states that women should receive education.
There are several issues and causes of education problems for girl children in Pakistan

Problems of Access to Education: 
Inaccessibility of primary education is a result of distance, child labor, male preference, scarcity of teachers, local leaders’ fear of loosing power and frequent policy changes. The problem of access applies to both girls and boys; however it is more serious for girls. Girl’s schools are far away from their homes in many rural areas, Girl child because culturally they are supposed to stay close to home and they cannot travel alone in our society freely, many families cannot afford traveling expenses for their children. Those who can afford transport it is often not available in rural and backward areas. Moreover, teachers that do not belong to the same community are sometimes unable to attend school daily because of above-mentioned problems.

Problems of Separate Schools:
In our society coeducation is not accepted even in primary schools. Family and parents don't allow their girls to study in coeducation schools due to several reasons. The government often failed to take measures to provide separate school and classrooms for girls.

Child labor:
Children often do not attend school because they are working to support their families for their survival. Million of children under the age of 14 are laborers at brick kiln factories, the carpet weaving industry, agriculture, small industries and domestic services across Pakistan.

Male preference: Parents favor the education of their sons over their daughters. Whenever there is a trade off between boys and girls for sending school; parents prefer to expend on boys education as they are they future earning hands of their families. Typically, education of a boy is desirable even for the most disadvantaged people and those who live beyond the designated settled areas. However, education of a girl is not necessarily desirable because any investment made would not bear fruit for their family since girls leave to live with the family of their husband.

Fear of extremists:
In Pakistan, particularly in the KPK militant group have blasted thousand of schools, especially girl schools, thousand of student have lost their lives during studying. Extremist groups are against girls and women education as well as they have given threats and threatening letters to several Governments and private girl schools for stopping girl education. Women are not allowed to step out of their houses. If they are allowed to go out they have to be covered in heavy burqas from head to toe. In short, women, which are 51 percent on the country’s population, have been forced to just bear children for their husbands and remain within their houses for cooking and cleaning.

Fear of losing power:
local landlords oppose girls’ education out of fear of losing power. Whenever the Government and non-government take steps to open formal and informal schools in rural and backward areas where they rule, the landlords oppose such measures, apparently out of fear that people who become literate will cease to follow them with blind faith. In this condition unfortunately, the government has not so far taken any steps to promote literacy or girls education in these areas. It is even reluctant to help NGOs or other small political or religious parties do the job, because in order to maintain control, it needs the support of these landlords and chieftains who, as members of the political parties, are regularly elected to the national assembly.

Frequent changes in education policies: 
Our governments have announced different plans and policies to promote literacy, especially among women, as Governments have announced various programs to achieve its educational objectives but they have been unable to translate their words into action because of various social, cultural, economic and political obstacles.

Solution of Above Problem:
Change of mind of leaders and local landlords,
Change the policies of education,
Bring change in local level through awareness and practical action,
Equal access of education male and female.

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