Pakistan has struggled for many years with the gender inequality of women achieving an education within their country. Pakistan is the sixth most populated country in the world, but with more than 40 percent of women never receiving an education, the nation has one of the lowest literacy rates on the continent.
While women do have the right to access education in Pakistan, there are several barriers that prevent them from doing so. In a patriarchal society, women find it difficult to access education and other opportunities because of the role a male-dominated culture plays in all of their lives.
Lack of Accessibility
One barrier that many women face in Pakistan is lack of accessibility. Many women living in the rural areas of the country are unable to attend school because they cannot afford the cost of transportation — for themselves or their children.
Although women and girls struggle to access the education in Pakistan that they so desperately need, there are many organizations working tirelessly to change these unfortunate circumstances.
The Citizen’s Foundation
One non-profit, The Citizens Foundation (TCF), has fought since 1995 to bring about positive changes in empowering women and making education more accessible to this population. The Citizens Foundation is now one of the most influential organizations in Pakistan when it comes to providing opportunities to the less fortunate.
The organization works to remove barriers that would otherwise prevent women from accessing education. TCF provides schools in rural environments which eliminates the need for transportation to more urban areas where more schools are located.
The Kashf Foundation
Working alongside The Citizens Foundation, The Kashf Foundation’s goal is the same. Established in 1999, the Kashf Foundation was created to help women from low-income areas build their entrepreneurship skills and complete their education.
The goal of this foundation is to help eliminate poverty by empowering women, which in turn provides better opportunities for their families.
The Central Asia Institute
The Central Asia Institute (CAI) is yet another non-profit working with the underprivileged women and children of Pakistan. Over the past twenty years, this organization has changed hundreds of lives by supporting women’s literacy.
With a wide variety of services — such as vocational centers, scholarships and even health centers — CAI is changing the educational system in the most impoverished areas of the country. The group provides services to both boys and girls but recognizes where the biggest change needs to happen — women’s education.
Progress for Education in Pakistan
In the past, achieving an education in Pakistan has been extremely difficult for women. But, like many countries, Pakistan wants to be able to provide its women with the same educational opportunities as its men. Unfortunately, that goal isn’t how situations always work out.
Pakistan has shown admirable effort in support of the education movement — many organizations have come together to redefine the way women receive schooling. Many people are starting to recognize that when women are educated, everyone benefits.
Women become empowered, and in turn, are able to lead happy and more successful lives. Pakistan has made many crucial changes in regard to gender equality and education, and is better as a nation because of it.
– Allisa Rumreich