Posted by : Fahmina Arshad Thursday, July 5, 2012


Rising Women of  Pakistan

Around the world whenever any one talk about "women in Pakistan" the very first thought which comes along is violence, discrimination, basic rights' violation, gender subordination etc etc. Although it happens in some extents but there is a brighter side also. 

According to Wikipedia The status of women in Pakistan varies considerably across classes, regions, and the rural/urban divide due to uneven socioeconomic development and the impact of tribal, feudal, and capitalist social formations on women's lives. The Pakistani women of today enjoy a better status than most Muslim women. However, on an average, the women's situation vis-à-vis men is one of systemic gender subordination although there have been attempts by the government and enlightened groups to elevate the status of women in Pakistani society, Now due to lots of awareness among people the educational opportunities for the Pakistani women increased in the previous years.

Islam has declared equal status for man and woman as well as Pakistan's constitution. But the society we live in greatly violates women rights despite all these violations Pakistani women are successful to elevate their status in Pakistani Society with the help of some enlightened groups, some outgoing individuals and by the government.It happens just because of increase awareness about girl education among people.

Now in Pakistan women are every where e.g.  schools, colleges, universities, offices, factories, hospitals etc. etc. they are students, workers, entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, nurses, pilots etc. etc. There is no such field where a woman cannot work and Pakistani women prove that they are capable to do any thing  despite all hardships they are facing from the society. These working women seeding a silent revolution in Pakistan.  A silent social revolution taking place with rising number of women joining the workforce and moving up the corporate ladder in Pakistan.

They are doing everything from pumping gasoline and serving burgers at McDonald’s (MCD) to running major corporations. About 22 percent of Pakistani females over the age of 10 now work. Women now hold 78 of the 342 seats in the National Assembly, and in July, Hina Rabbani Khar, 34, became Pakistan’s first female Foreign Minister. “The cultural norms regarding women in the workplace have changed,” says Maheen Rahman, 34, chief executive officer at IGI Funds, which manages some $400 million in assets. Rahman says she plans to keep recruiting more women for her company.

Here are some statistics and data that confirm the growth and promotion of women in Pakistan's labor pool:

1.  A number of women have moved up into the executive positions, among them Unilever Foods CEO    Fariyha Subhani, Engro Fertilizer CFO Naz Khan, Maheen Rahman CEO of IGI Funds and Roshaneh Zafar Founder and CEO of Kashf Foundation.

2.  Women now make up 4.6% of board members of Pakistani companies, a tad lower than the 4.7% average in emerging Asia, but higher than 1% in South Korea, 4.1% in India and Indonesia, and 4.2% in Malaysia, according to a February 2011 report on women in the boardrooms.

3.  Female employment at KFC in Pakistan has risen 125 percent in the past five years, according to a report in the NY Times.

4.  The number of women working at McDonald’s restaurants and the supermarket behemoth Makro has quadrupled since 2006.

 5.   There are now women taxi drivers in Pakistan. Best known among them is Zahida Kazmi described by the BBC as "clearly a respected presence on the streets of Islamabad". 

6.  Several women fly helicopters and fighter jets in the military and commercial airliners in the state-owned and private airlines in Pakistan.

Here's an interesting video titled "Redefining Identity" about Pakistan's young technologists, including women,

Newsweek Pakistan covers a story about 100 remarkable women of Pakistan  " 100 Women who shake Pakistan" click to read. (must read)

If people have questions like,  how is it possible? the only one answer is EDUCATION.  If you agree please leave a comment.

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About Author

Fahmina Arshad is Blogger, Social Media Activist, Women Rights activist, women rights defender, feminist, women issues advisor and ambitious to work for Women Growth in Pakistan.

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