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Culture, Health and Society

Paper Writing Assignment

GENDER DISCRIMINATION OF WOMEN IN PAKISTAN

Introduction:
Gender discrimination in Pakistan has been a cause of concern for many. The day, a girl gets
married, wise old women sit by her, praying fervently to God to bless you with a son. Mothers
would put their sons in her lap so that God blesses you with a son. The day she becomes
pregnant, her mother in law starts thinking names for her grandson.
The day she gets her ultrasound is a big day for her. Amid prayers, her departs for the clinic, and
gets her scan. But hey! The scan informs that she is going to have a baby girl! Oh my goodness,
how will she tell it to everybody? Her husband takes her home in a strained silence and shuts
himself in his room on reaching there. She tells the horrid news to her parents in law, who
become so shocked that they can’t speak a word. She spends rest of your pregnancy with old
ladies informing her that the following ‘prayers and actions’ may still give her a boy. At last, she
reaches her delivery date, and gives birth to a beautiful daughter, at which self-satisfied relatives
Gender Discrimination against Women
having sons raise their eyebrows, and smirk at her husband’s misfortune to have a ‘daughter’.
Parents fulfill son’s wishes but slaps daughters when she demands something.
A woman suffers from her rights, education heath and gender biased feelings. As a human being,
she is denied from her own identity. (Gender, Health and ageing, 2003)

Definition from literature review:


Gender inequality means disparity among human beings on the basis of gender. Gender is
differentiated in two ways, firstly social perception about status of gender secondly on the basis
of biological aspects through body differences as human chromosomes, brain structure, and
hormonal differences of human body. Today gender depends on culture and tradition but it
seems that Islam influences the status of women conservatively in society and this influence
slows down the progress of women, and limits the policies designed for women. This influence
narrows the economic opportunities for women claimed by (Robert M. Hathaway, 2004).

Prevalence:
An estimated 855 million people worldwide cannot read or write; 705 million of them are
women, which shows economic activities of females are limited in Pakistan and discrimination
in economic field exists. 1 out of every 3 girls does not live to see her 15th birthday One-third of
these deaths take place at birth every sixth girl child’s death is due to gender discrimination.
Pakistan social and living standards measurement (PSLM) literacy rates for girls and women are
consistently lower than for boys and men due to discrimination.69% rate for men and 44% for
women. Participation in economic activities of females is only 14.95 percent in 2008-2009 and
increased 15.5percent in 2009-2010.
Causes of gender discrimination:
Income disparity is one of main cause, Empowerment of women financial status is essential to
their betterment; they can’t get their rights until they are financially strong and economically
independent (Allama, G.A. 1998, P-25). Sons are preferred because they are owners of assets,
preferences on basis of future earning gives much value to men, cultural norms and traditions
leads to discrimination.
The impacts gender discrimination:

Physical (Women violence, female infanticide)


Emotional (discrimination leads to stress, drug abuse and keeps women in isolation)

2
Gender Discrimination against Women
Health Gender discrimination contributes to Sex selective abortions, neglect of girl children,
reproductive mortality, and poor access to health care for girls and women.
Socio cultural (Early marriages, honor killings)
Political (Baluchistan is first to have local functional government but not a single political
woman candidate at city or union council level, not a single women on 1450 seats)
Conclusion: Investment in mass education is the only way to get rid of gender discrimination
and carving a true perspective of women status in developing countries like Pakistan. Girl’s
education can be foundation stone of comprehensive change of a society to decrease the gender
discrimination. Educated women are base of awareness, making them financially strong to
reduce the poverty which is root cause of gender discrimination in Pakistan.

References:
1. World Health Organization. Gender, health and ageing. Geneva: WHO, 2003.
www.who.int/gender/documents/en/Gender_Aging.pdf (accessed 2 Feb. 2015)
2. World Health Organization. World health report 2003. Shaping the future. Annex tables.
www.who.int/whr/2003/annex/en/ (accessed 25 Feb 2004)
3. Jejeebhoy SJ, Sathar ZA. Women's autonomy in India and Pakistan: the influence of
region and religion. Popul Dev Rev2001; 27: 687–712.
4. Cross Ref Web of Science Coale AH. Excess female mortality and the balance of the
sexes in the population. Popul Dev Rev 1991; 17: 517–523.
5. www.Pakistangendernews.org/Single-Woman-1450-Seats/