The gender gap in education is a major concern in Pakistan and is a major hindrance to the development of the country. According to a study published in the International Journal of Education Research, this gap has been widening over the past few decades. According to Human Rights Watch, 81 percent of girls were unable to finish elementary school, while only 52 percent of boys faced the same fate. The gender enrollment gap in Pakistan’s entire educational system is 13%. Additionally, only 46.5% of women are literate; 61.6 % have completed elementary school, 34.2 % completed high school, and 8.3 % have completed tertiary education. According to the Global Gender Gap Report, Pakistan will need 136 years to bridge the gender disparity at its present rate of progress. The gender gap in education is a result of various factors, such as poverty, lack of access to resources, social and cultural barriers, and traditional gender roles. As per a World Bank report, only 54% of girls in Pakistan are enrolled in primary school, compared to 68% of boys. The gender gap is even more pronounced at the secondary and tertiary levels, with only 40% of girls enrolled in secondary school and 24% in tertiary education, compared to 58% and 32% of boys, respectively.
Moreover, it is also linked to the prevalence of child marriage, with many girls dropping out of school in order to get married. According to a report by UNICEF, as many as 24% of girls in Pakistan are married before the age of 18. This has a direct impact on their access to education, as these girls are unable to continue their studies due to their marriage and are often deprived of their right to education. Furthermore, the lack of female teachers in Pakistan is also contributing to the gender gap in education. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, only 39.5% of teachers in Pakistan are female, which is significantly lower than the global average of 74%. This lack of female teachers is a major factor contributing to the gender gap in education, as the presence of female teachers can provide a more conducive atmosphere for girls to study in.
In order to bridge the gender gap in education in Pakistan, there is an urgent need to implement policies and initiatives that will promote access to education for girls. This can include providing financial assistance to families in order to make it easier for them to send their daughters to school, increasing the number of female teachers in schools, and providing incentives to girls who excel in their studies. Additionally, there is also a need to raise awareness among parents and the general public about the importance of education and the need to give girls equal opportunities to access education.
In conclusion, the gender gap in education in Pakistan is a major concern and is hindering the development of the country. It is essential that measures are taken in order to bridge this gap and ensure that girls have access to quality education. The government, NGOs, and the general public must all work together to ensure that girls are not deprived of their right to education and that the gender gap in education in Pakistan is eliminated.
While discussing the gender gap in education in Pakistan, we must give thought to the women students in Kabul who have been barred from entering universities by Taliban rule. The other day, several female students held a march on roads in favour of their right to education. Since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in August last year, after the incarceration of key activists at the beginning of the year, women-led protests have been progressively less common. Participants run the risk of being detained, being attacked, and facing societal humiliation. The world must take care of Afghan women too.