Girls need to be given better vocational training or 10 plus years of education if they are to have any chance of upward economic mobility.
Therefore, it is necessary to culminate schooling that goes beyond primary and middle level, said Goodwill Ambassador for Women Empowerment Batool Gilani at a consultation meeting titled “Exploring the power of girls schooling” here on Thursday.
Earlier, the participants presented the results of their research on topics related to education of women. They revealed that access to schools has improved over the years, particularly since 2000. Enrolment rates and access for girls have increased at both primary and elementary levels. However, dropout rates still remain high. Also, though research shows quality of schools as improving, there is still a vast disparity between public and private schools.
Following the presentations, a discussion linked the effects of a young girl’s socio-economic resources with schooling prospects, which in turn affect employment opportunities and her pregnancy and progeny.
Gilani identified the two great challenges that Pakistan faces: high population growth and low levels of female literacy and enrolment. She stated that there is a pressing need to brainstorm an effective solution to escape from the “vicious” cycle of increasing poverty levels and unemployment.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Sectors Shanaz Wazir Ali took Gilani’s stance forward, noting that the choice of schools and the level of schooling determines a young woman’s choice of work, marriage and the bearing of healthy children, which are all encapsulated in the spirit of empowerment.
The meeting was organised by Population Control, an international non-government organisation.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2011.
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