“Women are the real architects of society.” This quote by Harriet Beecher Stowe truly depicts the role of women in today’s world, as every year the celebration of International women’s day gives us a reminder that women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.
International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In Pakistan, the day holds immense significance, as it provides an opportunity to highlight the progress made by women in various fields and to raise awareness about the challenges they still face.
In recent years, Pakistan has made significant steps towards promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. One of the most notable achievements in recent years has been the passage of several laws aimed at protecting women’s rights. These include the Protection of Women against Harassment at the Workplace Act, the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act, and the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act.
Additionally, women in Pakistan are making their mark in various fields. They are excelling in education, with increasing numbers of women attending universities and pursuing higher education degrees. In fact, according to a report by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, women account for 49% of the total enrollment in universities.
Another area where women in Pakistan are making strides is in entrepreneurship. Women entrepreneurs are starting their own businesses, which not only provides them with economic empowerment but also contributes to the country’s economy. The government has launched several initiatives to support women entrepreneurs, including the establishment of women’s business centers and providing training and financial assistance.
In politics, women are becoming more visible and active, with many women running for office in local and national elections. However, there is still less women’s representation in Pakistan’s politics. Much more needs to be done to address the barriers that prevent women from fully participating in politics in Pakistan. This includes changing societal attitudes towards women’s roles and capabilities, providing access to education and resources, and addressing discrimination and harassment in political parties.
The women in Pakistan Army play a vital role in the country’s security forces. Over the years, Pakistan Army has recognized the importance of female presence and their contribution in the military and has taken steps to ensure their full participation. Women in the Pakistan Army are primarily employed in non-combat roles such as administration, logistics, education, and medical services. However, they have been provided maximum exposure as the new face of Army on both National and International levels.
In recent years, the number of women in the Pakistan Army has significantly increased, and they have been given more opportunities for professional growth and advancement. In 2021, Major General Nigar Johar became the first female officer to be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General not just in Pakistan Army but also in the South Asian region as well. The presence of women in the Pakistan Army also helps to break down gender barriers and stereotypes, and promotes the idea of gender equality and empowerment. It serves as an inspiration for young girls and women who aspire to serve their country in a similar capacity.
Despite progress being made towards gender equality in Pakistan, women continue to face significant challenges such as discrimination, violence, and unequal access to education and employment opportunities. Women in Pakistan are often subjected to harmful practices such as forced marriages, domestic violence, and honor killings, which remain major obstacles to gender equality in the country. While a lot needs to be done to ensure positive and growth-oriented environment for the female gender in Pakistan, some important legal steps have also been taken by the government to promote equal rights for women.
While there are still challenges ahead, International Women’s Day serves as a reminder for Pakistan to work towards ensuring that women have the same rights and opportunities as men. It is an opportunity for the government, civil society, and individuals to renew their commitment to achieving gender equality and empowering women in all areas of life. It is essential to continue working towards creating a society where women can thrive and achieve their full potential.