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Women empowerment is elusive even today

Almost all top-notch jobs are held by men in the entire world right from Asia to Europe. With certain exceptions, it is a patriarchal world. When it comes to the percentage in terms of population, the male female ratio is almost equal. However there are certain countries in the world where the female population is more than male population and vice versa. Particularly in some European countries, women outnumber men. As regards Pakistan, men form 51% and women 48.76% of the total population.

It is a prevalent assumption that females are as good as males in almost every sphere of life. Misogynists do feel that females are clumsy and may not be as skilled as males. It is high time that the world should think of accommodating more and more females across the board and do away with the hackneyed thinking. It is sine qua non at present to promote the participation of females in all areas and sectors.

Women are already making enormous contribution to economies all over the world. Be it business, farming etc. females have proved their mettle. One could see women leading business delegations, working in the agricultural fields from dawn to dusk, serving in the battle fields as journalists, doctors, armed personnel etc. The empowerment of women entails autonomy and improvement in their political, social and economic status. It is a fact that women’s empowerment is dependent on geographical location, educational status, social status, age etc. There are myriads of instances where a woman does not want another woman to be empowered.

Women-empowerment has become a buzzword all over the globe these days. There are a deluge of laws everywhere for women’s emancipation and so is the case in Pakistan. Provincial assemblies in Pakistan have passed many laws to protect and empower women. One needs to know the efficacy of some laws such as The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2004, the Punjab Women Protection Authority Act 2017, the Anti-Honor Killings Laws etc. There are women development departments, however, the outcome of these departments does not seem to be helping women as it should. It is heart-wrenching to know that about one-fifth of the world’s honor killings take place in Pakistan. Last year, two men in Bhong area of Rahim Yar Khan allegedly murdered two sisters in the name of honor. Two women and two men were murdered on the orders of the family elders over suspicions of illicit relations in Kohistan last year. Social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch was drugged and subsequently strangled to death in her parent’s home in Multan in 2016. Last month, a 13-year-old girl in Sindh eloped with a man for freewill marriage for which she was murdered.

 

There was much hype about Pakistan Vision 2025 which comprises five components of women’s empowerment into its objectives, including activities that promote women’s self-worth, right to determine their choices, access to opportunities and resources, right and power to control their lives – both within and outside the home – and ability to influence social change. Let’s see how ‘Pakistan Vision 2025’ turns into reality today and in the future.

No matter what a female is whether a doctor, pilot, teacher, journalist etc., she is deemed weak unfortunately not only in Pakistan but also in many countries even in this era of technology and agile media reporting. This mindset needs to be changed to move forward.

The state of the medical profession in Pakistan could change substantially in case the female doctors don’t quit or not compelled to quit their profession after their marriage. Pakistan faces substantial economic loss when a qualified doctor give up her career after marriage for various reasons. There is death of nurses which could be tackled in case the parents allow their daughters to pursue their dreams according to their will and the society does not look down upon this profession. There is low participation by women in law enforcement agencies. Women need to move forward and serve the country in various capacities including police force.

Pakistan cannot become a strong economy without the participation of its female population. The government must formulate a policy making it mandatory for the corporate sector to have massive participation of females at all levels of organizations. An empowered female has the capability to change the destiny of the nation. How could an economy strengthen when almost half its population does not perform or is not given opportunities to prove its worth?

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