GUJRAT: From the years 2012 to 2017, the government of Punjab introduced and implemented several significant measures for economic and social empowerment of women and for countering gender-based discrimination and violence against women.
Positive steps have also been taken by the government of Punjab to encourage and promote women’s participation in the political process and the workforce while education has remained a key priority for the provincial government.
As the Government of Pakistan has put a lot of effort and money in empowering women, the country is still considered among the toppers on the global gender-based discrimination index. I feel that the gender-based violence and discrimination is fully embedded in the socialisation of females in our society.
Females are unable to understand discrimination against them and how their rights are being exploited by other members of society. Discrimination is inherent in cultural norms of the Pakistani society that promotes discrimination.
The most common phrase that is used in every other social media page is #RespectWomen, and everyone is found to be supporting this hashtag. However, I believe that women themselves should recognise their worth first and be educated about their rights. Only then they should demand to be respected than beg for it. Discrimination and gender-based violence against women cannot end until women themselves take the first step against it. Education is the only available tool that can bring change in our society, and educated women are essential for putting an end to gender-based
violence as well as discrimination against women.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2019.