Illiteracy and Lack of Opportunities
The status of women in Pakistan is not homogeneous because of the interconnection of gender with other forms of exclusion in the society.
Considerable diversity in the status of women across classes, regions, and the rural/urban divide is due to uneven socio-economic development and the impact of tribal, feudal, and capitalist social formations on women’s lives.
They lack social value and status because of negation of their roles as producers and providers in all social aspects.
The literacy rate of people of 10 years and older is only 58 per cent with sharp differences between urban and rural areas and between male and female. It is only 49 per cent in rural areas compared to 74 per cent in urban areas. Again, female literacy rate is much lower in rural (35 per cent) against urban (67 per cent) areas compared to male literacy rate of 81 per cent and 63 per cent in urban and rural areas, respectively.
Generally speaking, the females in both urban and rural settings have problems of different nature.
Women are not only subjected to financial discrimination but they are also victims of inhuman customs and laws such as Karo Kari, Swara etc.
Change in scenario is happening due to awareness of woman’s abilities, her rights and her status.
The majority of Pakistani women belong to the rural areas who work in the fields and in the industrial centers. They form illiterate majority, which leads a life of physical hardship. Most of these women bear the double burden of housework and outside work. They have longer day as compared to other women.
Women empowerment has started gaining strength but there is a long way to go.
Empowering women in economic decision-making and encouraging their participation in work activities with better human resource development will definitely improve overall income of rural dwellers.