A Woman plays a key role in the maturity of a nation. The Pakistani traditions is one of a kind where in one segment the status of women is considered as the center of soul, existence and life; while on the other edge considers them no more than second-rate citizens. She plays four important roles during her life-time i.e. as a mother, wife, sister and daughter, but today she is facing lots of tribulations inside the home as well outside. There are many forms of hostilities i.e. physical, sexual, psychological etc. that costs the life of a woman; her dignity, confidence and personality. Although we are living in an Islamic society, where Islam provides a comprehensive frame work about the rights and duties of women, yet due to illiteracy, people of our society are oblivious to religious conviction and they follow their own customs and traditions not accordance with Islam, so discrimination against women is present in our society.
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Today women development is the most important component of social welfare programmes in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa in public sector as well in private sector. They are in operational for the empowerment of women in District Dir Lower like other backward areas of the province, to accomplish their imperative and basic needs, providing them a decorous life in their society, and also bestowing opportunities for their dynamic contribution in nation-building activities.
In this research paper an attempt has been made to emphasize the real status of women in district Dir Lower of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa and the role of public sector as well as private sector in their empowerment.
Objectives of the Research
To make some contributions to my native land Dir Lower
To know about the major socio-economic hindrance in the empowerment of women in Dir Lower
To identify the various socio-cultural obstacles in the empowerment of women in Dir Lower
To know about the misinterpretation of religion, which adversely effects the empowerment of women in Dir Lower
To evaluate the role of government in the empowerment of women in Dir Lower
To evaluate the role of NGO’s in the empowerment of women in Dir Lower
1. socio-cultural constrains have close relation with the empowerment of women in Dir Lower.
2. Education can play vital role in the empowerment of women in Dir Lower.
3. Economic empowerment of women is essential for their overall empowerment.
Significance of the Research study
The proposed work is an attempt to understand and explore the actual status of the empowerment of women in Dir Lower. Although women in large number are exercising their rights and duties within the fold of Islam in Dir Lower, yet some segments of our society are misinterpreting their status here. On the other side most of the religious segment and some of the moderators in our society are against the NGO’s activities for the empowerment of women by considering them a western agenda. Keeping in view of this troublesome situation related to the activities of social welfare services in Dir Lower and community response towards them, their work is not so fruitful and ultimately their developmental role is affected. It is expected that after the completion of this research work people will know about the real status of women and the ratio of empower women as well as the role of governmental and non-governmental organizations in this direction. It will also help to find out that how the status of women here can be improved actually.
Review of literature
Society is comprised of men and women and both have very important role in a successful life as well in the development of a nation, although both are different biologically and socially from each other, but throughout the history women have been denied in every sphere of life. The vast majority of the world’s poor are women, two third of the world illiterate are female and the majority of poor health are also women. On the other hand the role of women in the development of a nation cannot be ignored. Studies show that when women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits, their families are healthier, more children go to school, agriculture productivity improves and income increases. In short, communities become stronger. The hunger project family believes that empowering women is a key change agent to end hunger and poverty. Therefore it is the emerging and most important agenda of all developed countries of the world, to empower their women to play their due role in nation building activities.
Before the advent of Islam, women held a very low status in society and were treated like slaves and chattels. But in the history of the world, Islam is the first religion which recognize the human status of women and conferred them height, dignity and honour by granting equal rights. Islam also provided equal opportunities to both men and women for the progress and prosperity of life and granted them immense social and economic rights. Also all the three constitutions promulgated in Pakistan had attempted to proclaim equality of rights for women but still in Pakistani society, on one hand women place is the centre of attention and life but on the other hand considering them no more than a secondary citizens. The reason is that our people are unaware and they follow their own customs and norms by neglecting the religion and the law.
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Pakistan is the world 6th largest country by population, approximately 177.28 million with the sex ratio as 1.07 male per female. This clearly conveys the message that almost half of the country’s population is comprised of women folk. Despite of such large proportion of women population, Pakistan, based on the gender empowerment measure is ranked as 99 amongst 109 countries of the world. The total population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is 17.75 million. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is predominantly occupied by Pakhtun’s tribe. The social structure of Pakhtun’s does not permit free mobility or employment of the women. The government faces numerous problems to safeguard employment opportunities for rapidly increasing population with strict social structures. The situation is even worse for the women folk who ultimately live a life of subordination and suppression inside the home. In our society, woman has the rights of academic achievements but at the same time she also has to acquire permission from her male heirs whether to utilize her educational experience for economic independence or not. Our women are not inferior to those in western countries but due to comparative availing basic amenities, which prevent them to play their due role in the national life. Not all Pakistanis women are beaten, sold or mutilated but majority are still facing imbalance treatment by their male heirs. If same facilities and opportunities are given to our women as the developed nations have done, they might be able to contribute in nation-building activities. In this regard the social welfare and women development department can play a significant role with the help of NGO’s.
There is no uniformity in the status of women in Pakistan because of diversity in our cultures in the present four provinces which are further sub-marked under rural and urban areas. In this regard in khyber Pukhtoonkhwa, Pukhtoon society has its particular traditional basis and the role of women is also a traditional one. Pukhtoon are very sensitive about the honour and dignity of their women and they considered it their outmost duty to protect their women, therefore he guards her name and her reputation with extra care.
Dir Lower is one of the backward district of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa, which remained backward in all respect i.e., Educationally, Socially, politically and economically due to the dominant force of Nawab of Dir Shah Jahan, since the 6th decade of 20th century. He wanted to keep the people illiterate, in the darkness, unaware and backward to maintain his power. Therefore he was against of any type of development in Dir. Before and after the rule of Shah Jahan, education was zero. Formal education was started after 1960, but that was limited only to male. Slowly and gradually the rising awareness in people of Dir felt the need and importance of female education, thereby some primary schools were established for girls at the initials. because of scarcity and lack of proper education and guidance, Dir remains backward in every field of life especially, in the empowerment of women and due to their unawareness the life of women were influenced by customary norms. House remained the main center of activities for them however very few women were educated here. The main reason was that they couldn’t come out of their houses because of the restriction of purdah. Women are not allowed to associate with men in public. Though now-a-days, in big villages, education has changed the social position of women because the male society of Dir became educated and they are providing opportunities to their women to play her due role in the society within the fold of Islam. A number of schools and colleges have been opened for females whereby to get education, many of them are now entered into the universities and other different institutions for their higher education competing with the dominant male society in every walk of life in every city and province of Pakistan as well abroad.
Keeping in view the worst situation stated earlier, the people of Dir Lower realized that until and unless a two pronged developmental approach, it would be impossible to attain the long cherished goal of social justice. Therefore educated and talented people started working with social welfare departments and started running of Non-Governmental Organizations. The formation process of NGO’s started in 1970’s in Dir Lower and within 34 years 64 NGO’s have been registered. Some of these NGO’s are fairly diligent while others are not functioning with their maximum potentiality. In these NGO’s a number of projects are running for the empowerment of women in Dir Lower by different means i.e. by education, by political means, by vocational skills, by campaign for women rights, by social and economic services, by women welfare, etc. But due to militancy and talibanization in Malakand Division, the developmental activities become stand still and showing no actual progress. At large number their workers were targeted and threatened as well as, they are criticized by the local people because they are unaware about their actual role. Besides this the NGO’s of Dir Lower are also facing a number of problems to play their due role in the empowerment of women, i.e. lack of experts, lack of guidance, lack of funds, lack of co-ordination and uncooperative behavior of the community etc.
The women development department Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa was established as a separate department during 1995-96, attached with the social welfare department and was confined to provincial secretariat, having no field staff to look after the women related issues at the grass root level, although it is supposed to keep a close relation with various NGO’s National and International agencies working in the province for women development.
The women development department is also responsible for implementation of the national plan of action for women and Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEADAW). National policy for development and empowerment of women was formulated by the government in order to empower Pakistani women, irrespective of caste, creed, religion or other consideration for realization of their full potential in all spheres of life, especially, economically, socially and politically and in keeping without Islamic way of life.
The proposed work would be descriptive type and will be based on the extensive use of primary and secondary data. Interview schedule and questionnaire will be the research instruments for the collection of primary data and secondary data will be collected from books, news-papers, thesis and other published and unpublished materials. Dir Lower will be the universe of the research study and its population will be heterogeneous, consists of male, female, young, old, educated and uneducated etc.
Theoretical frame work
APA style will be followed in in-text and end note references.
Ch: 1 Women status in pukhtoon society particularly in Dir Lower
Ch: 2 the role of governmental and non-governmental organizations in the empowerment of women in Dir Lower
Ch: 3 Statistical analyses of primary data
Ch: 4 Conclusion and Recommendations
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