International 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.  

Gender Gap Index Report and Pakistan

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It has been 69 years since this country, Pakistan, came into being by demanding and fighting for the right to an independent existence. During this time, we have had a woman Prime Minister and we have heard stories from our parents about how women used to ride bicycles and wear whatever they wanted. According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2016, Pakistan ranks 143 out of 144 countries in the gender inequality index, way behind Bangladesh and India which rank 72nd and 87th respectively. Pakistan is also the worst performing state in South Asia and has been for the last couple of years, while Sri Lanka ranks 100th, Nepal 110th, the Maldives 115th and Bhutan 121st. The only country ranked below Pakistan is Yemen (144), while Syria is one place ahead at 142. Pakistan ranked 112th in 2006, the first year of the report. Since then, its position has been deteriorating every year. Pakistan ranked 135th in 2013, 141st in 2014 and 143rd in 2015. The report captures progress towards parity between men and women in four areas: educational attainment, health and survival, economic opportunity and political empowerment. In its latest edition, the report finds that progress towards parity in the economic pillar has slowed dramatically with the gap — which stands at 59pc — now larger than at any point since 2008. Iceland took the top spot for the 8th consecutive year, followed by Finland in second and Norway in third place. Several developing and emerging markets have also made it into the top 20, but the United States ranks 45.