By Shahnaz Bibi
Education is the prime index of development and is perceived to be a process of developing and refining the mental attitude of an individual. It fosters rationality, objectivity and pragmatic outlook, thus it cuts downs wild passion, blind ideologies and strict ethno-centrism. Education is a powerful weapon which can change the fabrics of society. It provides green vistas for human development and removes the cobweb of ignorance, bestiality and aggression. It is a stepping-stone to holistic development of human mind, heart and soul. Education germinates the seed of freedom and equality in all fabrics of human life. It accelerates socio-economic and political development .Education changes the destiny of nation, developed countries to reach at Pleiades of progress from dust through education. In economically and technologically advanced nation whee both man and woman got the benediction from education. Women are socially, economically and politically empowered and they fully become aware of their fundamental and basic rights. In the Third World countries, the echo of gender discrimination is heard everywhere which strangulates healthy growth of societal norms. We have trapped in the quack mire of backward system, which is rotten, nasty and static. The rusted cultural backwardness prevailed in Pakistan that made woman plight more vulnerable and deplorable. Women treated as second class citizen and restricted her socio-economic mobility .Woman has been burning in cauldron of so-called culture since centuries. The miseries, agonies and infliction of woman aggravating day by day, the same episode of discrimination have equal magnitude from the desert of Thar to the glaciers of Pamir. It is the thought provoking issue that what would be the panacea of this degradation of women? Only education is the silver bullet that solves the dilemma of gender discrimination. Education enshrines knowledge and skills about healthy survival under adverse situation. Education inculcates basic and Fundamental Rights which secured by the constitution, if a woman understands her constitutional and fundamental rights then she persistently stands in tornado of culture and storm of religion. Education acts as bacon- house never pushed her into gloomy abysmal of labyrinth. Education widens a new horizon to the outlook and thinking pattern that rebukes intellectual servitude and physical slavery, it breaks the manacles of hindrances and obstruction .Education helps poor soul dives into the inundation of empowerment, where she picks the pearl of self respect and treasures of ego.
If we glance at cursory look at the amalgamated fabric of Pakistani society we will find the macabre face of woman .Sexual Harassment, Honor Killing, Acid throwing, forced marriage and Suicide are the heinous crimes which have became the fortune of women. In Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and KP honor killing, rape and forced marriage is on rampant while in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral women have better socio-economic right but psychological and domestic violence instigates towards Suicide. Our society shed gruesome picture of Education, we low literacy rate 54% even Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Tajikistan surpassed us in literacy rate .In Baluchistan about 8.1 million children are out of school, more than 5000 government run primary school are single room with single Teacher. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the military-stricken province, the condition is more miserable as 16,000 children are out of school.
Pakistan did not take opportunity from the blessing of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and engulfed huge amount resources. In such a tumultuous situation how can educational backwardness of woman is removed off, how can save the precious life and respect of concubine, serfdom and servant. Pakistan should pragmatic approach about women education; only education inseminates the seed of optimism, social justice and equality in genuine sense.
(The writer human rights activist and freelance writer).