RS Welfare Foundation
Women empowerment is one of the most debatable issues in the development circles now-a-days. Pakistan being a democratic and an Islamic state, the issue of women empowerment faces new challenges. Considering its multidimensional nature and to give an empirical aspect to this study, an index is developed about the knowledge of true Islamic teachings and values. In this paper, an attempt is made to remove the miss-conception that ‘Islam’ as a religion hinders the way of women empowerment, using regression analysis based on the primary data from a district of Southern Punjab. The results show that Islamic concept of women empowerment strengthened by the women’s education, education of her household members, access to media, health facilities, less no of household members along with no fear of violence. Finally, it is concluded that Islam as a religion ensures maximum women’s rights. It is our typical social norms, old traditions imported from other religions and ignorance from the true teachings of Islam, which has made today’s women vulnerable.
Every woman has the right to exercise her reproductive rights and to be protected from violence and harmful practices in both the development and humanitarian contexts. Pakistan Vision 2025 has embedded five components of women’s empowerment into its objectives, including activities that promote women’s self-worth, right to determine their choices, access to opportunities and resources, right and power to control their lives – both within and outside the home – and ability to influence social change. However, these still remain outside of the grasp of women in Pakistan.
Gaps in empowerment are seen at the earliest stages of a girl’s life. At every step, girls, adolescents and women face challenges and obstacles in making their own choices and determining their own path in the lives they wish to live.
Pakistan ranks second lowest in the world for gender equality, placing at number 148 out of 149 countries. The nation ranked 146 in economic participation and opportunity and 97th in political empowerment. In an effort to work towards greater female empowerment in Pakistan, international humanitarian organizations are working with Pakistani women. Organizations UNDP and U.N. Women are creating initiatives to support greater political and economic equality.