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An alarming situation is taking place in Pakistan in relation to girls’ education. There is a significant difference between the rates of school enrollment of male and female students. According to UNESCO, primary school enrollment for boys is 84%, whereas only 60% of girls are able to enter a school. Secondary school is available for only 32% of females. Relying on statistics from 2014, literacy rate between 15 and 24 year olds was 79.77% for men and 65.55 for women; as for older generation, the literacy rate of 65 years and older is 35.71% for men and only 9.96% for women. The evidence above demonstrates that there is still some kind of limit on girls’ education.
There are several factors which have an influence on this issue. First, women’s role in Pakistan to some extent differs from that of western countries. They are considered as housewives and gain domestic skills from early ages to apply in their motherhood and family life. Second, the gender discrimination takes place in the country, due to the patriarchal society of Pakistan and education is also affected by it. Third, poverty significantly contributes to the inequality between males and females in education. Memon (2007, 48) also argues that exceedingly small amount of government investments is the main reason of the low quality of Pakistan’s education sector. Socio-economic development of a country depends on the level of the population literacy. Education increases the level of productivity and efficiency of people, producing proficient labor force which is able to contribute to reaching the sustainable development in economy. It also mainly facilitates to the decrease of poverty level and reinforces the social development.
“Education is the most important instrument for human resource development”, – state Chaudhry and Rahman. Primary education remains as a vital component of human capital that significantly contributes to an economic development of a certain country. The total number of illiterate population of 15 years and older in Pakistan was close to 52 million people, when the overall population was 185,5 million (UNESCO Institute for Statistics 2018). This pattern clearly explains the relation and connection between level of the country’s development and the amount of educated people, proving and giving evidence to all of the above mentioned statements about impact of education on country’s socio-economic development.
Uneducated women and girls have a negative impact on Pakistan’ development. As stated by Ali, Jumani and Ejaz (2015, 63), regarding higher education for females Pakistan’s position is one of the lowest in the region. The statistics from 2005 demonstrate the percentage of only 2.9% among population between ages of 17-23, whereas in other countries such as India women education percentage is 10% and Korea shows the rate of 68%. The evidence suggests that education plays a significant role in economic growth and national development. Generally, the base of advanced socio-economic status of a country is a high level of education and sustainable increase in economy. According to Chaudhry and Rahman (2009), a significant number of research studies show a direct relation between the high level of women’s education and high salaries that they receive. They also found out that income to education is mostly greater for females than for males, linking it to the economic contribution of educated women. Moreover, relying to evidences, the authors claim that girls and women who received an education enhance a social development of the country, particularly improving the child survival, health and child education. The growth in economy is negatively affected by a low level of women’s education due to its impact on the average human capital.
In developing countries an increase in number of educated females diminishes fertility, mortality and increases child education. Therefore, the socio-economic development of Pakistan is affected by the problem of unavailability of education for girls.
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