The Pakistan Tehreek-s-Insaaf (PTI) paid tribute to the women of Pakistan in an event organised by the leading women of the party’s Insaaf Professional Forum. The event was held on the eve of the International Women’s Day that was observed all over the world on Wednesday.
The founder of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, repeatedly highlighted the importance of women in his speeches and said that no nation would progress if its women were not able to stand side by side with men in every field. However, the story is altogether different in Pakistan where women face innumerable hindrances in their lives, with 65 percent of them lacking access even to clean drinking water.
“The status of women is extremely poor in Pakistan. More than 40 percent of the women in our country have to face domestic violence at least once in their lives,” PTI Punjab General Secretary Dr Yasmin Rashid said.
She further stated that Pakistan ranked at 134 out of 135 on the list of countries in which the rights of women are suppressed, according to the Global Gender Gap report released at the World Economic Forum.
Dr Yasmin Rashid said that the enrollment of girls was extremely low in the primary and secondary school in comparison with boys. “Half a million children are out of school in Lahore and its surrounding areas and 0.35 million among them are girls,” she said.
Talking about the health facilities provided to women, she said that one woman dies due to the pregnancy complications every 20 minutes in Pakistan. “Around 55 percent of pregnant women in Pakistan do not have access to trained staff or lady health visitors and most of them give birth to their children at home,” Dr Yasmin Rashid said, who is one of the leading gynaecologists of the country and has served as the head of the obstetrics & gynaecology department at King Edward Medical University.
“The only way to uplift the status of women is to educate them. Every two women among three in Pakistan are illiterate. The infant mortality rate (IMR) was at its peak in Sri Lanka a few years ago but they managed it well. Currently, the current IMR in Sri Lanka is 6/1000 while in Pakistan the IMR is still 89/1000 today,” she said, adding that the government of Sri Lanka began an education program for mothers in order to decrease the IMR.
Another central leader of the PTI, Andleeb Abbas said that every woman must know her rights and it was imperative on her to fight for her rights. She told the audience her story of being brutally beaten by the police in November 2016 when Imran Khan announced his plan to lockdown the federal capital and the police launched a severe baton charge on PTI workers.
PTI Punjab MNA Shunila Ruth and a large number of working women participated in the event.