Women and the Third World
By: ANAM HAYAT
In the developing world, the menace of poverty is deep-rooted, especially in the rural areas, while Pakistan is no exception to this. The United Nations identified rural women as a catalyst for change if the objective of eradicating poverty is to be attained. Invisible and industrious, neglected and undernourished, she is the major contributor to the agricultural labour force, producing more than 50 percent of the developing world’s food.
She is the one who tends, sows, reaps, gathers crops, cares for animals, plants herbs, and looks after the family but is hardly ever recognised in the statistics of production while easily made a target of cultural malpractices that not only hurts her dignity but even takes her life. It is very important to bring women’s issues into the limelight so that policymakers could design their development interventions in a way that could financially empower them enough to make a difference in their living conditions and that of their families.
Today’s globalised world offers many opportunities and challenges while demonstrating the need for having a level playing field for men and women; this can only be established if we shun prejudices and isolationism. We need to explore innovative ways to overcome the formidable obstacles to the empowerment of women and gender equality. There is a need to focus and devise strategies to enhance women’s role in decision-making and power sharing in all tiers of government.
Keeping in view all the above, I would like to stress the need of women/mother’s health as an unavoidable reality of our society, which relates to child marriage, harmful traditional practices against women and other cruel treatments prevailing in our society, which need to be worked against.