Abdul QadirInternational Women’s Day: Be Bold for Change

International-Womens-DayCelebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) is traced back to the early 1900’s,when economic development  and population growth led to the radical ideologies in the society. The women were concerned about their inequalities and oppression in the society, and demanded their very basic rights for voting ,short working hours and equal pay.  Since then, International Women’s day (March 8) is a global day to celebration women’s contribution in the society by highlighting their achievements. Today IWD is being celebrated to encourage women to be bold enough for the desired change in their communities. This day remind us to ensure women’s role in our societies by educating and empowering them for their meaningful contribution in the world wide for sustainable development.  

Education is the basic human rights but its inaccessibility to the million of children worldwide has made it an esteemed privilege in the developing countries.  But the very much discussed empowerment and basic right of girl and women does starts on the benches of school, with information and quality of education. Education is the sole mean which assist the marginalized segment of the society i.e. women to access all  the information and knowledge to secure the very much possibilities in their lives to become everything what they wish for.  Educating girl and woman guarantees their very basic rights of health, growth and development by contributing into the well being of their families. In this context, the teachings of Islam like other religions are very much clearer and stresses on the acquisition of education, equally for men and women. In a sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). “Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim.” In another saying The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said  “Acquire knowledge even if you may have to go to China for it”. Thought, education and literacy are the core element for empowering women.

Empowerment means to unleash the opportunities to the girls and women by shattering the observed ceiling of socio-cultural and economic norms those caused their enforced powerlessness and much of this enforced powerlessness is either dishonestly quoted from the religious beliefs, customs, laws and prevailed socio-cultural norms. It leads to their under-representation not only in decisions making but from the all walks of life. In this pursuit, education is the one of the core tools to empower them by building their skills, self-confidence and knowledge that is essential to play vital role in the society’s development process.  

Worldwide women and girls are facing  multiple challenges and inequalities, which have left them behind to harness their full potential in the development process. These prevailing socio-economic and cultural barriers reinforce their inequality and an obstacle in their ways to the political and economic empowerment.  It is held belief that that development is not sustainable if it is unequal and women and girls are not incorporated into the mainstream of the society by educating and empowering them.  This powerlessness foster their vulnerability to be victim of violence and discrimination in their societies and also barriers to their potential contribution in achieving sustainable development, gender equality and peace. Though, gender equality and women’s empowerment are the key components of the Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs) 2030 to empower girls and women in the 21st century but for gender equality, empowerment and sustainable development it is essential to uphold the very basic human rights of every girl and woman to have access to quality of education which can ensure their liberty, full potential and contribution in the development process.