By SAAD MASIHUDDIN
Gender discrimination is one of the major social issues we are facing in Pakistan. Although we have come through a long way and in this twenty first century where people all over the world are working to update their lifestyles and better living, we being a Pakistani never miss any chance to discriminate men and women. We have this mindset and culture that men are the one who is superior and holds an important position in the family however women is just like a slave who has to give up her desires and look after the family. She has no right to speak for her desires nor is she allowed to take any decisions on her own in the family because it’s the man who has to make all the decisions and keep an upper hand over the family.
We live in a society where men are always given more value in comparison to the women. They are always treated at their best, they can have a good quality of education from a reputed schools and universities, they can freely go out and meet with their opposite gender friends, they can work, they have a freedom to live their life the way they want to but when it comes to women, the scenario is completely opposite. Women cannot have an education because they are supposed to work as a housewife and those women who work do not belong to respectable families. In the same way, if a women talks to her opposite gender or she is having male friends we judge her and say that she is a slut. We never give any positive feedback or appreciate over any achievement and contributions women are doing for the country and for our societies instead we are always after criticism and discrimination.
Moreover even in workplaces, according to statistics. It is seen that women are paid very less as compared to men, since according to our judgmental society they are not capable of getting a higher pay despite the fact that they’re well educated. Often at times, women have to face sexual harassment in workplaces. This is a very common problem faced by almost every woman, where men try to take full advantage of them in whichever way possible. Women are treated as an object which can fulfill the sexual desires of men. They are not given importance in society.
These differences result in criminal activities. Parents believe that girls are a burden on them; therefore they should be killed or sold .Having a daughter means you are more likely to earn more for her education and dowry. She is not considered a blessing by God but a burden. Due to these differences, there is a high rate of girl trafficking, abortions and killing. Parents get rid of their daughters because they are not willing to give dowry. In some cases parents abort the child if they get to know that the baby in the womb is a girl. Many cases are reported where the girls are killed because parents cannot afford them and prefer investing on a boy rather than a girl.
Similarly when we talk about the education systems, there is always a discrimination, parents decide which child from the family will go to school and priority is always to the son over daughters. Due to high level of illiteracy rate in our country, parents believe that investing on daughter’s education is a waste of money as they have to get married and help in domestic household activities. Moreover, women is imposed to early marriages which is such an awful act done by the parents. They consider daughters as a burden on their shoulders and try to get rid of them. At the age of studying and grooming herself, she has to get married forcefully and obey her husband.
It is sad to see such an unrealistic behavior in our societies. Both boys and girls should be equally treated there shouldn’t be any inequality when it comes to education because women are more mentally sharp and intelligent than men. Even a small amount of contribution done by any of the gender for the society shall be appreciated rather than just giving more value to the boys over girls. We all being a good citizen of the country shall take a stand against such gender discrimination and try to bring the change because by doing this we can lead to the betterment of the societies. We need to create awareness especially in rural areas where women are given no importance we should make them understand that they are the real asset of the family and treating them well will make parents proud one day. Similarly in Islam, having a daughter is considered to be a reward and the parents would be rewarded in the hereafter. Our society needs to understand the rights of girls and should start treating them the way they deserve to be treated.
The contributor has an MBA degree from IoBM. He works in a family owned business the textile industry.