Women in Pakistan have continued to play a very important role in every aspect of life. In order to grow as nation, we need their actively involvement or presence in all fields as educationist, Politician, doctors, business women, bankers, managers, engineers, lawyers, forces, diplomats, ambassadors, artists, teachers, writers, poets, workers, farmers, mothers, wives, students, and the list goes on and on. The culture thinks that women cannot do jobs like men do. Their ambitions and aspirations are suppressed. Now, women are fighting for equality in the workplace and success in some extent. They strongly claim that if they are given a chance, they can contribute more positively as compared to males towards the development of all social aspects.
Gradually things are improving for a woman in Pakistan, which has been caused by their tremendous determination and courage. Today women are sitting on important positions and achieved great stature in various fields of education, business, army, health, engineering, media, IT and active participation is seen in area of sports and politics. About 45% of women entrepreneurs in Pakistan run traditional business such as parlours, bakeries, boutiques and the largest number are employed in Telecom and multinational companies.
Some segments of Pakistani society usually adopt a hostile attitude towards the women. Men are dead against women liberation and they want to keep them under shackles. They treated women as subordinates throughout history because that is what they have been taught by the culture that women are not equal to men. They wants a woman to be a house wife, to just stay home to serve the whole family and take care of children.
I have seen a lot of talented, highly educated ladies who could become very good entrepreneurs, are well manage their house/family matters and professional life. When question ask from talented, highly educated ladies who stayed at home, can’t pursued her career for the benefit of family as well as development of the country. The reason comes out as usual “they are not allowed by their families or husbands”. I consider that this is violation of basic human rights that our religion gave the women 1400 years ago. The man’s ego won’t allow his life partner to earn equally or more than him. Women have the right to make their own decisions. If a woman is interested in a job and meets the qualifications that employer requires, she should be considered eligible for that job. If girl tries to support herself or family, she is ridiculed and laughed away. Still, the “kamai” earning of the girl is considered shameful in many quarters of our society.
Economic indicators suggest that life will be very tough in the coming years, a single earning hand in a house hold won’t be sufficient to survive. Men and women have to work together to survive in the coming days. Our society has already seeing a change where kids now work and study at colleges at the parallel to cover their education expenses and the next step would be the partnership of men and women to carry the burden of expenses by equal sharing. Our women have education, talent and a strong will to compete men in all fields of practical life.
Their presence should not be limited to certain agreed and determined fields by our society, they should be given a chance to pursue their dreams, earn their own livelihood, and become less dependent on men who always use women’s dependency as their weakness. We need a rapid growth to have a strong stance against the overall economic turmoil in the country and across the world and for that we should allow women to come forward and join hands with men in the progress and growth of Pakistan within the limits prescribed by our religion. Our religion allows women to work and earn with certain limits and conditions which are not at all difficult to manage. We should develop a working environment where all parents and husbands send their daughters and wives without any fear.
–The writer is a freelance columnist based in Islamabad.