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Life at urban and rural areas has a number of differences but what separates them at a larger scale is the non-availability of education and a comparatively huge difference in treatment on the basis of gender in the rural areas. A lot of progress has been made in the past few years, but still, there are many villages in Pakistan that lack schools and even though many people in rural areas have taken initiatives to tackle this problem themselves, the mindsets still need to change.
Educating people on this sensitive topic can give them the awareness of the pros of a gender-balanced society. Creating schools and educational institutions in rural areas does not change much unless the mindsets are changed and people are willing to send their children to schools especially their daughters.
Primarily, this thinking of keeping daughters at homes and not letting them get proper education and thus getting empowered and contribute towards a better society needs to be changed. Women can not only bring social change in a society but can also make it more economically stable. Economic empowerment doesn’t just come from heavens when a person decides to keep the female members of the family at home instead of letting them make their life choices for themselves.
It is the basic human right of every person to decide what path they want to choose and what decisions they want to make. In most of our rural areas, the majority of the women are being denied this right. Despite denying them the most basic rights, some of these women still decide to go beyond the obvious restrictions that the society impose on them and to fight these limitations. The courage of these women is to be celebrated as they sometimes have to be the continuous center of negative remarks for going out of their homes to work, to get the education, or to get certain training of stitching, fashion designing, livestock and other diplomas.
Equal opportunities for education and being treated on the equal basis without any discrimination of gender gives a confidence boost to the female members of a family and gives way to healthy competition in the society which has advantages on both the individual level and national level?
Empowerment doesn’t just mean to give these women education but to make them a part of the household decisions, to give them the power to decide, to make better life choices for themselves and for their children and to give them a stable share in the economy. That is what classifies as empowerment and that is what we need today.
When we talk about women empowerment in Pakistan, urban women are more empowered than the rural women and the spotlight needs to be shifted to these women. We, as a society, need to play our role in giving opportunities to these women and not just sideline them. We have learned to blame everything on the government and not taking responsibilities for our own actions and life choices and that is something we need to work upon in order to pull out through this critical situation.
These resilient women face everything that’s thrown out in their way and crossing all the barriers and for what? For a better tomorrow, indeed! A better tomorrow for themselves, for their families and on a larger scale, for the society, and for the nation.