As human societies modernized and progressed technology has evolved and improved for mankind, but for women, it has got a questionable effect on almost every sphere of their lives. Be it property nights, the institution of marriage, evolution of political institutions, etc. Women are discriminated and have experienced newfound disparities along the way. Fashion as a result of modernization has led to objectification of women, property rights as a result of constant struggle have led to control of women marriage institution to protect the lineage has led to aggravated gender roles and capitalism has led to economic disparity.
The case of Pakistan is not, unique in this aspect, women have been oppressed owing to its strong patriarchal milieu. However, during recent times, this notion has changed to a large extent and women are seen to be in a respectable place in society. Therefore, Pakistan is on the road to gender equality as there are pro-women legislations, inclusivity of women, and creation of gender protection unit giving a glimmer of hope on the way to gender equality. Furthermore, Pakistani women are now getting aware of their rights through social media platforms and the subject of Gender Studies has also been made a part of curriculum in different institutions across Pakistan.
Therefore, one can say that, Pakistan is on the road to gender equality, although the road to gender equality is cough and tough. Primitive gender norms, lack of implementation of policies and interpretation of Islamic injunctions with tunnel vision are few of the challenges on the way to gender equality in Pakistan.
However, the sky would darken probably not fall and by taking certain measures at legal, political and social level, Pakistan can smoothly stride its way towards gender-equality and gender inclusive society. This would certainly make Pakistan prosperous as Mao Zedong said, “Women hold up half of sky. They do half of the world’s work”.
Pakistan And Women Empowerment
In order to comprehend the many ways in which Pakistani society faces challenges on the way to gender equality, it is first imperative to explicate how Pakistan is on the road to gender equality – Firstly, there is a growing number of pro-women legislations in Pakistan. These legislations have been a glimmer of hope that women will be equal to men in near future.
In Pakistan, women have been provided legal rights in form of different laws that are deliberated to protect their rights. For instance, in recent past, government has passed harassment of women in Workplace Act, 2022, this has closed doors for harassment at workplace for women in Pakistan. Along with this there are several other bills that are being passed to protect women, including Protection Bill in 2017 and Protection of women Act that allow rape to be persecuted under civil law. Therefore, all these pro-women legislations in Pakistan gives a day of hope that women will be equal to men in Pakistan in near future.
Inclusivity Of Women In Every Sphere Of Life
Furthermore, there is an evident inclusivity of women in different spheres of life in Pakistan. They are seen to be a part of bureaucracy, military politics as well as judiciary.
- For instance, in January 2022, Justice Ayesha Malik took oath as first-ever female judge of a Supreme Court in Pakistan.
- Furthermore, there is an increasing number of female inductions in military as Lady Cadets, General Duty Pilots CGDP) and captains.
- Nigar Johar Khan, a three star general in the Pakistan Anny speaks volumes about the growing acceptability and inclusivity of women in different socio-economic spheres of life in Pakistan.
- This is a noticeable fact that shows how Pakistani society is improving in terms of gender inclusivity.
Changing Notion Of Gender As A Social Construct
Moreover, in recent times, the notion of gender as a social construct has changed a lot. People living in urban areas are now more accepting to gender roles which are not specified for them.
- For instance, in urban centers like Islamabad women are seen to drive, and I work unrestrictedly which is against the social construction of their gender.
- They can work in different fields regardless of their gender.
- For instance, Uzma Nawas, a female car mechanic in Pakistan is seen to be breaking the shackles of patriarchal society and social construct of gender. Therefore, Pakistani Society is becoming more accepting than ever in changing the notion of gender as a social construct.
Awareness Among Women
In addition to this, women are becoming aware of their rights and they also participate in different movements that stand for women’s rights in Pakistan. The majority of the women are well aware of their right to protest and they raise their voice for themselves as well as those which are oppressed.
- For instance, since 2018, every year on 8th March women from all over Pakistan participate in “Aurat March” to raise voices for the rights of women across country. Every year, these women from “Aurat March” are seen to be holding placards and walking across cities in a Pakistan for their rights.
- Although, they face resistance but their enthusiasm never fails to fight for their rights and to spread awareness among fellow females about their rights.
Gender Protection Unit Islamabad F-6
Furthermore, Pakistan has launched its first Gender Protection Unit in its Capital city of Islamabad. This gender protection Unit is inaugurated to help women to report – Gender Based violence as they are largely under-reported due to social and cultural constraints.
- Gender Protection Unit is exclusively women centric and they provide helplines to make it easier for women to lodge their complaints.
- Therefore, all crimes that are gender based are reported and have received more than 500 complaints during their first few months.
- So, steps like these are making Pakistan more gender neutral and helping females to fight readily against their oppression at last, but not the least, social media has played a huge role in spreading awareness issues and used by people in on issues thousands among women regarding their rights.
- Social media is widely used by NGO’s, institutions, and other the society to spread awareness related to women.
- There are thousands of groups, pages, chatrooms and blogs on social media through which women represent themselves auld speak for their rights through social media campaigns.
- Few pages on social media like “womanistan”, “feministan” spread awareness on social issues related to women through social media campaigns.
- Therefore, Pakistani society has seen to become progressive on issues related to women in recent times.
To sum it all up from the above discussion, it is clear that Pakistan has been following the load to gender equality. However, owing to the patriarchal society of Pakistan, it is very difficult to attain gender equality in Pakistan. Nonetheless, there are always a silver lining and Pakistan can take certain steps in the right direction to overcome this social menace of gender inequality. These include bridging gap between laws and their implementation regarding women, eliminating retrogressive cultural norms and emancipating and empowering women. Furthermore, media’s sole is also very important in combating this challenge. Therefore, Pakistan must realize the importance of gender inclusivity and gender equality if it wants to progress by leaps and bounds because as Malala Yousafzai has said, “We cannot succeed when half of us (women) are held back”.