The women in Pakistan enjoy a good status, as per the narrative of the state. In modern Pakistan, women have held high offices including speaker of the national assembly, leader of the opposition, Federal ministers, judges and generals in the armed forces. And what could be bigger than the first female Prime Minister from the Muslim world being from Pakistan? Yes, Benazir Bhutto. And as we know, Pakistan is the first self-consciously created Muslim state, hence Islam has honoured women by giving them a lot of rights.

But is every woman enjoying her status and her rights? Is every women safe in our country? Well, unfortunately in a society where girls are considered a burden, women are not as safe as they should be. When we talk about honour killing, Pakistan is ranked third where most number of girls are killed in the name of honour, after Afghanistan and Congo. The situation of education is extremely disastrous as well, with over 5.1 million Primary School aged children out of school, and 63% of them being girls. Another thing we should be aware of is that out of 47 million employed people in Pakistan, only 9 million are women, and out of that 9 million, 70% work in the agricultural sector.

Well, the male oriented society hasn’t offered a lot to the women even though Islam and every religion does. But we have seen a lot of women progressing in recent times in the field of science, education and media. I just hope that good things keep on happening for women in our society. And we should never forget that Fatima Jinnah was among us, Benazir Bhutto was among us, and Arfa Karim was among us; whereas, Nergis Malalvala, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, and Malala Yousafzai are among us. Let us give more women the opportunities to shine.

FARDEEN JAWED,

Karachi, March 9.