Recently the United Nations released a report on gender equality for its Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 with Pakistan being one of the main four countries in focus. The report concluded that 12 percent of women in Pakistan (4.9 million) aged 18-49 are simultaneously deprived in four Sustainable Development Goals-related dimensions including child marriages, education, healthcare and employment.
Moreover, the data highlights that women from marginalized ethnic groups living in poor rural households fare worse across a variety of well-being and empowerment. Especially, in Sindh and KP where women and girls from the poorest rural households fare far worse than any other group across all wealth quintiles and locations.
Astonishingly, the largest disparity is seen in regards to education. Where 98.8 percent of the women belonging to rural background and 29.3 per cent belonging to the richest urban dwellers lack access to education. In addition, the report stated, on average, 48.1 per cent of women and girls aged 15 have no say in decisions relating to their own health care.
Thus, according to report, almost 70 per cent of the female urban population in Pakistan lives in slums where they lack access to clean water, improved sanitation facilities and durable housing.
It is time for the federal and provincial governments to have a glance over the issues and initiate pragmatic measures so as to deal with the issues which are triggering a large number of dropouts.
Baba Faiz, Ball Nigwar.
Published in The Balochistan Point on February 19, 2018