CSS Special 2023 Solved Essays | Pakistani Women Have the Same Chances as Men.
Ammar Hashmi, a Sir Syed Kazim Ali student, has attempted the CSS Special 2023 essay “Pakistani Women Have the Same Chances as Men.” on the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches his students. Sir Syed Kazim Ali has been Pakistan’s top English writing and CSS, PMS essay and precis coach with the highest success rate of his students. The essay is uploaded to help other competitive aspirants learn and practice essay writing techniques and patterns to qualify for the essay paper.
- ✓ Disparities faced by women in the economic, political, and social realms represent that women don’t have the same chances as men in Pakistan. However, by increasing women’s participation in the legislature, enhancing education for females, and boosting women-centric policymaking, the country can create more chances for Pakistani women.
2- Why have women started being considered equal to men?
- ✓ Consisting of almost 50% of the global population.
- ✓ Catering the labour shortage issues.
- ✓ Excelling equally among men in a variety of fields, from education to business.
3- Current status of gender equality in Pakistan
- ✓Pakistan 142/146 according to World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023
- ✓Pakistan 161/191 according to the 2022 Human Development Report’s Gender Inequality index
- ✓Since 2018, ECP has registered 11 million women voters
4- Aspects in which Pakistani women don’t have the same chances as men
- ✓ Political domain
- Under-representation in legislature
- 17.7% of women seats combined in both national and provincial assemblies.
- Only limited female quota seats for women.
- The burgeoning gap in voter registration and voter turnout
- According to the ECP 2023 report, 58 million women registered voters, whereas 68.7% were male registered voters.
- In the 2018 elections, 47% of women turnout as compared to 56% male turnout
- Under-representation in legislature
- ✓ Economic domain
- Sluggish women’s participation in the workforce
- According to the International Labour Organization 2023 report, Pakistan has only 22.6% women in the workforce (lowest among Muslim countries)
- An enormous Wage gap
- According to a World Bank report, the Average income of women in Pakistan is 16.3% as that of men.
- Only 7% of women are employed in high-pay streams (UN).
- Limited access to financial services
- According to the UN Women Count report, only 7% of women in Pakistan have bank accounts.
- Sluggish women’s participation in the workforce
- ✓ Social domain
- Disappointing status of education and literacy rates
- Pakistan 138/146 in terms of educational attainment according to World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023
- According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, only 25% of women have university degrees
- According to Pakistan demographic survey, the literacy rate of women is 51%, whereas of men is 72%.
- Huge no. of girls as Child labour
- According to the ILO Report 2023, 1 out of every four homes in Pakistan employ a child, especially girls aged 10-14 years.
- According to UNICEF, Pakistan has 20 million out-of-school children, out of which 12 million are girls.
- Child marriages of girls
- According to UNICEF, 1 out of every six girls undergo child marriages in Pakistan.
- 1.4 million unwanted births and 2.3 million abortions and miscarriages in Pakistan every year
- Pakistan 132/146 in terms of health and survival according to World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023
- Disappointing status of education and literacy rates
- ✓ Cultural practices
- The menace of Watta Satta
- Exchange of daughters or sisters to keep marriages intact
- Ill approach of Wani
- Forced marriage of minor girls as compensation to end disputes.
- Stigmatization of divorce
- Considered normal if men do so, but character assassination of women if they do so
- The menace of Watta Satta
5- Aspects in which Pakistani women stand beside men
- ✓ Participation of women in sports
- Naila Kiani, 1st Pakistani woman to summit three peaks above 8000 meters
- Women cricket team
- International tent-pegging championship, Jordan
- ✓ Civil services and Judiciary
- Female DC, 1st time in Baluchistan’s district Nasirabad
- Women Judge of Supreme Court, Musarat Hilali
- ✓NGOs, Media, and arts
6- Ways to create the same chances for women as men in Pakistan
- ✓ Increasing women’s participation in the legislature
- ✓ Enhancing the provision of education to females
- ✓ Increasing women’s participation in the workforce
- ✓ Boosting women-centric policy-making and legal reforms
7- Critical analysis
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the world has transformed dramatically in political, economic, and technological aspects. Yet, empowering people without social, racial, or cultural bias remains a distant dream for many countries. Specifically, in developing countries, the situation gets grim where women are still marginalized and not provided equal chances as men. Similarly, gender-related parameters of Pakistan paint a bleak picture, representing that Pakistani women don’t have the same chances as men in political, economic, social, and cultural aspects. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023, Pakistan is 142nd out of 146 countries. This shows the shocking situation of discrimination faced by women in the country due to various factors like poor literacy rates and few women entrepreneurs. Thus, in the political domain, women are under-represented in the legislature and have a massive gap in the number of voter registrations of men and women. Furthermore, women have limited access to education in the social domain, with almost half of their population illiterate and 1 out of 6 girls undergoing child marriages. Thus, increasing women’s participation in the legislature and workforce by undergoing women-centric policymaking and legal reforms can help create more chances for Pakistani women. To conclude, Pakistan direly needs significant reforms to overcome the challenges due to unequal opportunities for women as men in various fields. This essay elaborates on numerous aspects in which Pakistani women don’t have equal chances as men and provides ways to bring gender equality to Pakistan.
Since the first quarter of the 20th century, women’s rights movements have been on a roll, keeping in view the depravity faced by women globally, increasing awareness among women and motivating them to work alongside men in all sectors of the workforce. Moreover, the emergence of WWI brought various poor impacts on the participating countries as most men were playing an active part in the war, and there was an extreme labour shortage. So, in order to fill that gap, women started playing an active role in the workforce.
The global agencies paint a horrifying picture of gender parity in Pakistan. World Economic Forum’s report 2023 places Pakistan at 142nd position among the 146 countries in terms of the Global Gender Gap. Moreover, the 2022 Human Development Report’s Gender Inequality index ranks Pakistan at 161st spot out of 191 countries. On the other hand, one positive in this regard is that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has registered more than 11 million female voters on the electoral rolls. Still, there are various aspects in which Pakistani women don’t have the same chances as men.
In terms of the political domain, the under-representation of women in the legislature is the first instance of Pakistani women not getting equal chances as men. The representation of women in the legislature is not even in accordance with their population in Pakistan, which stands at about 50%. This is evident from the ratio of women in the federal and provincial legislature, which stands at 17.7% as per the fixed women seats. Thus, the under-representation of women is obstructing the much-needed policy-making for women, which is only possible when there is a significant number of women in the legislature.
Second, the burgeoning gap in women’s voter registration and women’s voter turnout is another major aspect showing women not getting equal chances as men in Pakistani politics. According to the ECP 2023 report, Pakistan has 58 million women registered voters with 68.7 million male registered voters, representing a huge gap of more than 10 million. Moreover, the women’s voter turnout stood at 47% while that of men at 56%, showing a gap of 7%. However, the eastern neighbour of Pakistan (India) recorded 0.7% more women votes as compared to men in their 2019 general elections. Thus, the huge gaps in women’s voter registration and women’s voter turnout are further strengthening the claims of patriarchal segments of Pakistani society that women have no role in politics.
In addition, the sluggish ratio of women in the workforce is the first example of Pakistani women not getting equal chances as men on the economic front. Women in Pakistan usually face hurdles while finding a job due to difficulty in commute, a suitable work culture, and workplace harassment, which reduces their participation in the workforce. It is evident from the International Labour Organization 2023 report, which states that Pakistan’s workforce consists of 22.6% women and the rest are men. This ratio of working women in Pakistan is lowest among Muslim countries. Thus, Pakistan is forced to face rampant economic shocks as a major chunk of its women population is not participating in economic activity.
Second, there is an enormous gap in the wages of men and women in Pakistan. Citing various reasons, the HRs don’t agree on giving women the same wages as men. Also, most of the rural women are associated with low-wage agricultural labour, which contributes to decreasing the overall wage average. On average, the income of women in Pakistan is 16.3% of men, according to the World Bank report. Furthermore, as per the UN, only 7% of the working women in Pakistan are employed in high-pay streams. Thus, the discrimination in equal wages of men and women plays a major role in the country’s economic downturn as it discourages women from involving themselves in the workforce.
Third, women in Pakistan have limited access to financial services like bank accounts. Even in elite families, the control of domestic finances is in the hands of the male head of the house. According to the UN Women Count report, only 7% of women in Pakistan have their own bank accounts. Thus, this limitation of their access to financial services shows a huge inequality in the provision of chances to women and, in turn, hurts the economic progress of the country.
Furthermore, in the social domain, there is a huge disparity between the educational statistics of men and women in Pakistan. In most households, educating boys is considered necessary as they will earn while educating the daughter is not considered necessary as she will get married. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023, in terms of educational attainment, Pakistan stands at 138th spot out of 146 countries. Also, a huge number of Pakistani female students don’t even get a chance to be admission to a graduate degree program. This is evident from the report of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, which shows that only 25% of women have university degrees, and most of them are unemployed. Regardless of the university degrees, the overall literacy rate of women in Pakistan stands at 51% as compared to 72% for men. Thus showing that women don’t have equal chances in terms of education and literacy as men in Pakistan.
Second, rampant female child labour in Pakistan is also a depiction of unequal chances of growth due to gender biasness. A lot of minor girls are employed even in various prominent households. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Report 2023, 1 out of every four homes in Pakistan employ a child, especially girls aged 10-14 years. The major reason behind this menace of child labour is the staggering number of out-of-school children in Pakistan. According to UNICEF, Pakistan has 20 million out-of-school children, out of which 12 million are girls. Thus, these 12 million reported and many unreported out-of-school girls end up doing child labour mainly in the houses of elites, depicting unequal chances for women as compared to men.
Third, child marriages of girls in Pakistan are also a major aspect in the provision of unequal chances to women in the social domain. The phenomenon of child marriages is still mostly rampant in the interior parts of the country. According to UNICEF, 1 out of every six girls undergo child marriage in Pakistan, with 1.4 million unwanted births and 2.3 million abortions and miscarriages every year. Also, in terms of health and survival of women gender, Pakistan ranks at 132nd spot out of 146 countries. Thus, all these parameters regarding child marriages unite to paint a horrible picture of equal opportunities for women and men in Pakistan.
Moreover, in the cultural domain, the menace of Watta Satta is still prevalent in the interior areas of almost all the provinces. In this ill cultural practice, daughters or sisters are exchanged to keep marriages intact. Thus curbing the provision of equal chances of growth to women as men in Pakistan.
Second, the ill approach of Wani is also prevalent in some areas of Pakistan. In this practice, young girls are forced to marry the elders of the opponents to end disputes and protect the masculine members of the family. Thus clearly showing that women in Pakistan have unequal chances as men.
Third, women are stigmatized in Pakistani society whenever they seek divorce from their husbands. Not only this, some people even resort to character assassination, but when men do so, it’s considered normal and represented as a show of their masculinity. Thus indicating limited chances for women in Pakistan as compared to men.
However, there are some aspects in which Pakistani women stand beside men without any discrimination. First, the participation of women in outdoor sports. In this aspect, a female mountaineer and a mom of three kids, Naila Kiani, became the first Pakistani woman to summit three peaks above 8000 meters. Also, Pakistani women’s cricket has achieved various milestones in the recent past. Thus, in various sports, women have equal chances as men.
Second, in the civil services and judiciary, women have an open ground where they compete with men and have equal chances of selection as men. This is evident from the appointment of 1st female deputy commissioner in District Nasirabad of Balochistan, a post that someone could imagine only a man. Moreover, the appointment of a woman judge of the supreme court for the 2nd time represents the level of playing for men and women. Thus, in civil services and judiciary, women have equal chances as men.
Third, women actively participate in activities of NGOs, media houses, and arts. These segments show the will of Pakistani women to work and contribute to nation-building. It has been noticed that sometimes, the number of women working in NGOs and media houses surpasses the number of male workers. Thus, here also, women have equal chances as men to excel in these fields.
After analyzing the aspects in which Pakistani women don’t have the same chances as men, it becomes important to suggest some measures in order to create the same chances for women as men. Indeed, the first step in this regard is to increase women’s participation in legislature. As women are almost 50% of the total population of Pakistan, there should be at least 50% seats in the legislature for women. On these seats, only women should be allowed to contest. In this way, Pakistan can create equal chances for women as men and can uplift the status of women in society. Also, this will enable women to play a constructive role in the progress of the nation.
Moreover, the provision of education to women can also help in creating the same chances for women as men. This will help raise the women’s literacy rate and impart much-needed skills in them to raise their social status. In this way, Pakistan can create an educated generation because an educated mother can educate the next generation. Thus, educating women can help in closing the gender gap in terms of education and will open doors to multiple career opportunities for Pakistani women.
In addition, by imparting much-needed technical skills to women, the government can increase women’s participation in the workforce substantially. By doing so, the government can overcome the menace of looming economic crisis and can help in creating more chances for women as men.
Furthermore, boosting women-centric policymaking and undergoing legal reforms to provide them with social protection can help create more opportunities for women and make them equal to men. These include the provision of safe public transport criminalizing and setting enormous penalties for domestic abuse and harassment in the workplace. By doing so, the country can create more chances for women.
After an insightful investigation, it is clear that Pakistani women don’t have equal chances as men in political, economic, social, and cultural domains. Even though nearly 50% of the total population of Pakistan, women have been deprived of their basic and constitutional rights. This, in turn, hurts the country in moving towards the path of sustainable progress in the long term. Other than the country’s progress, the suppression of women is incurring various psychological disorders among them, making them vulnerable to exploitation.
In a nutshell, Pakistani women don’t have equal chances as men in almost all aspects. For example, in the political domain, the under-representation of women in the legislature and a burgeoning gap between the number of women voter registration as compared to men hinders the country’s progress. Moreover, in the economic domain, women face a huge wage gap as compared to men, and this restricts their participation in the national workforce, which stands at 22%. Furthermore, on the social front, more than half of the women population in Pakistan is illiterate, thus increasing their numbers in child labour and child marriages. Additionally, in the cultural domain, women in Pakistan face various stigmas and ill practices like Watta Satta, Wani, etc. All these factors unite to present a gloomy outlook of the chances women are getting in Pakistan as compared to men. Thus, it is high time to undergo serious reforms if the government of Pakistan wants to curb this discrimination among men and women and want to move on a path of sustainable progress.
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