Since my childhood I read about the ideology of Pakistan and sacrifices of people for the country. I felt that my country was a perfect place for all – women and men. After coming out of the books, I realized that women face numerous challenges inside and outside of the families.
For a girl child, it’s not a right to seek education. Women are deprived of their education rights, freedom of speech, mobility, voting rights, and health facilities. Hence they are financially, emotionally, socially as well as intellectually dependent on men. If we are unable to provide our society, especially women, basic human rights even after 70 years of independence, we should be worried as a nation.
This is not only a women rights issue. This is a concern about socio-economic development of Pakistan. If one-half of the population is deprived of the opportunities to grow economically and intellectually how can we develop as a great nation.
Our great Quaid-e- Azam said “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you.”
Today is the time to think if we are playing our parts or not. A small change can make a big difference. If you are a woman you have to stand for your own rights. If you are a man you have to stand for the future of your daughter, sister, wife and all. We all have to fight the gender inequalities around us.
Quaid-e-Azam understood women power very well. He said:
“There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.”
Government authorities have greater responsibilities. Prime Minister Imran Khan should focus on changing the structural inequalities against women. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) should deliver Quaid’s vision for women. We have some good laws in our country. They must be implemented by addressing the patriarchal mindset of our society. That will be a real change for the future of Pakistan.
Next year on the 72nd Independence Day, Pakistani women will judge PTI government based on the changes they would bring in women’s lives.
Ms Sundas Khan is an Environmental Economist and a Visiting Faculty Member with a government university in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. For comments please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.