Of all the rights Women are deprived of in World generally, and in Pakistan especially, right of education tops the list. Although we have come a long way, and everyone now agrees to educate the woman. But the barriers have now moved to ‘in what environment women could be allowed to educate’. Many people from the feudal culture take it as against their traditions to let boys and girls be educated together. And there is nothing wrong with it. As long as we get enough colleges and universities to cater to the burgeoning woman population in our country. But that’s not the case right now. On this pretext millions of women don’t get to higher education levels and almost half the population remain un-utilized.
In metropolitan most of the people don’t get offended with the idea of letting children of opposite sex school together. That’s why we rarely see any woman universities in advanced urban settings. The problem lies with the rural areas where people take it against their traditions to let boys and girls mingle in college. That’s the area where attention must be paid to ensure women get their due right of education. This idea of Women universities could easily ally the concerns of stakeholders who want separate places of education for women. This way over half the population that is still unable to complete its higher education due to these stereotypes, and play its role in the development of the country, would be able to make itself a very useful part of the society.
To the people who think why bow to the traditional and hard-core feudal thinking of keeping women separate from men by giving them what they want. For this thinking to change, the most effective way would still be education because education and only education is the most efficacious panacea to all the societal ills. Also, educating a girl would mean educating an entire generation. The next generation of these women would ensure that there is no place for obscurantists and feudal mindset in the society. In feudal settings and underdeveloped areas, Women universities could become an agent of change. This step would ensure rights of women are not infringed just because some educated people thought they would look so weak, had they accepted the demand of people over yonder to provide a separate place of educating the girls.
In Pakistan, feudal traditions are perennial in almost all of its colors. The education of women finds bottom on the list of all the fundamental rights. It might be otherwise on paper. But ground reality is all the different. Bright and dedicated girls fail to enroll in higher education because of dearth of women universities. People of remote areas don’t allow Co-education for their girls. Owing to paucity of Women colleges and universities, the future of these girls is limited to getting married, raising children and doing household chores only. This way almost half the population of Pakistan don’t contribute to the GDP of Pakistan.
Although it’s been very late to take initiatives on building women universities in remote and under-developed areas, but still another generation of woman could be saved from the abyss of confining to four walls and becoming permanent part of the wasted labor. It is unfortunate that whenever there is talk of building universities in small towns, no talk of women universities is initiated. Those in helm of affairs must know that to narrow the space for obscurantists in society, it is imperative that the light of education reaches their houses. For this purpose Woman Universities could become an agent for change.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.