Status of Pakistan’s Women in Education

The status of women’s education in Pakistan is progressive over the years. Here I am going to analyze the status of Pakistan’s Women in Education.

Both females and males are vitalized to acquire education not only at the basic level which is known as primary education. It is motivating and encourages them to attain higher levels of education in their respective fields of interest.

This liberty and free environment for females in the developed and modernized cities of Pakistan has contributed to increasing the literacy rate for women; as the literacy rate of females in such cities is as high as 77%.

But if we move into the tribal areas of the country the situation is worse as far as female education is concerned because here the females are not even given the right to breathe on their own so how they could be given to study and get educated on their own?

Females are not just restricted to stay at home but at the same time are being forced and pressurized both mentally and physically. Due to this reason, the literacy rate of females in such various tribal areas of Pakistan is just as low as 7.2% of the total female population.

The main reason behind this unfair treatment of females in such areas is just due to the conservative thinking of such extremist people who consider their females going to educational institutions and acquiring knowledge and education un-Islamic and are against the rules and regulations of Islam.

This thinking must be reviewed so that the errors should be eliminated and the females which are kept away from education should be given equal rights so that they can make them educated and should later contribute to the empowerment of the national economy.

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 percent and 25 percent a day as well as in northern tribal areas the education of girls is strictly prohibited on religious grounds.

For those girls who go to school their attendance rates in primary, secondary, and postsecondary schools are lower than boys. This is a gross misinterpretation of Islam.

Pakistan is a Muslim country; the dominant religion is Islam about 96 percent of the population is Muslim, which like all religions urges men and women to acquire education. In Islam, it is clearly mentioned that it is obligatory for every man and woman to receive a quality education. This clearly states that women should receive an 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 losing power, and frequent policy changes. The problem of access applies to both girls and boys; however, it is more serious for girls.

Girls’ schools are far away from their homes in many rural areas, Girl children 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.

For 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 the 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 schools and classrooms for girls.

Child Labour

Children often do not attend school because they are working to support their families for their survival. Millions 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 tradeoff between boys and girls for sending school; parents prefer to expend on boys’ education as they are the future earning hands of their families.

Typically, the education of a boy is desirable even for the most disadvantaged people and those who live beyond the designated settled areas. However, the 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 husbands.

Fear of Extremists

In Pakistan, particularly the KPK militant group have blasted thousands of schools, especially girl schools, and thousands of student have lost their lives during studying. Extremist groups are against -girls and women’s education, as well as they, have given threats and threatening letters to several Governments and private girls’ 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 of the country’s population, have been forced to just bear children for their husbands and remain within their houses for cooking and cleaning.

Solution of above Problems

The following are some of the solutions that can be adopted to resolve the above problems.

  • Change of mind of leaders and local landlords
  • Change the policies of education
  • Bring change at the local level through awareness and practical action
  • Equal access to education for males and female

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