Pakistan and Gender Equality
Gender equality change must be made in the curriculum for the lower-middle class schooling system for the prevention of poverty and child mortality in Pakistan. This is a crucial time for this whole world with Women’s empowerment and Pakistan has a long way to go since its independence from India as an Islamic state to show support to all the women around the world. Pakistan had failed to make adequate advancements in a number of key gender policies. (According to Thomas Reuters Foundation, 2019) Pakistan has been reported down as the 6th most dangerous country in the world for women in regard to gender associated crimes and religious intolerance. Due to the many conflicts Pakistan has had with its neighbour India, there has been a major limitation financing resources on human development from military funds which has failed continuously to accommodate towards the most needed area in Pakistan; education. As conclusion, education has indeed been neglected in Pakistan causing a series effect on what is being taught. The culture and tradition have a substantial echo today in Pakistan and how gender roles are viewed to which Islam is a significant and influential part.
Pakistan’s Educational schooling system known as the Urdu Medium or Public school and Madrassa or Religious school targeting the lower-middle class society, which plays a huge part towards religious intolerance concerning minorities and stereotyping gender roles. Whereas the English Medium schools or otherwise known as Private schools stimulate a better understanding on gender equality and religious tolerance, due to the academic curriculum. The high cost of fee at these Private English medium schools has made a worthwhile industry in Pakistan and whilst opening up professional and employment prospects for young induvial, not all homes can provide to send their children to these high feed schools.
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Families that can in fact afford to send a child to a Private English medium school will then make the decision of which child to send. Gender discrimination tragically plays its part where boys are usually favoured and given the chance to attend these private schools over girls. Studies on schooling in Madrassas educational system has noted down gender stereotypes, “where men were given the place of defenders and religious leaders,” whilst women were represented in a domestic domain. Unless these young girls continue their education against the odds of these educational conditions and pursue higher education, they practically miss out on learning about women’s right and education as the taught curriculum at Public and especially Madrassas/Religious schools has different content for boys and girls. A number of studies investigating the “gender biases in the school curriculum in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (one of the provinces in Pakistan). The content of 24 textbooks was inspected in Urdu, English and social studies aimed for classed 1 to 8. The reading showed an alarming amount of male over female’s characters in these textbooks and both genders were symbolised stereotypically. This gender biased approach cast-off in the curriculum retains in “keeping girls in a limited position.”
This being one of the vast issues in Pakistan and for the rest of the world as women’s education is directly linked with health, education and child survival rate. Studies have reoccurred to prove that women’s low literateness has a damaging economic influence causing expansion of fertility and infant mortality. Additionally, there is hope for women. Women in Pakistan who are to pursue higher education and attend university are exposed to gender equality which is voiced to both men and women. This allows women to exercise their rights and roles in women’s mobility, where the environment for learning and education is safe. Women that are educated and favourably qualified know their rights against any form of doing that may be unearthly against them.
However, how can women access higher education when Urdu medium or Public schools and Madrassas or Religious schools are not promoting enough gender equality, instead quite the opposite, oppressing women’s right from broadening their horizons. This is a devastating act towards women in Pakistan. This is directly affecting Pakistan’s economic status, education, health, social well-being and most importantly women’s empowerment. Although higher education for women is adding value to women’s mobility it plays a much rather minimal role when it comes to women’s empowerment. As women are educated about their rights and it seems that men are usually left behind, causing domestic stress for women for the cycle and struggle to women’s right only repeat for the next generation. I propose that the education in Pakistan is to be examined and favoured towards gender equality from early education in all class groups as a national standard so that through education gender discrimination can be reduced if not demolished and how people think and view about gender roles.