While the opposition is occupied with incoherent backlash, the Punjab government is involved in some actual policy making. The recent addition to the list is the Gender Parity Report 2017.

The situation of women in Pakistan is one of systemic subordination. This mostly occurs due to the misinterpretation and misquotation of the Holy Quran and tradition. Pakistani society is not much different from any other male obsessed and parochial country.

One of the main causes of such a situation in the country is the lack of education and gender equality in education. Similar findings show up after an analysis of the health sector. In times of emergency, women are less likely to be taken to a hospital as compared to men. They have no guidance when it comes to medical facilities, and thus cannot access them. Most of them are housewives and do not have a say in family decisions. Hence, they suffer from violence, torture, discrimination, and brutality mostly from male members in their family.

In such circumstances, efforts like the Gender Parity report are a huge step towards women empowerment. The report will serve to provide a framework for initiatives especially working towards making the situation of women in the province better. The International Women’s Day is just around the corner and the Punjab Government is seen as making an effort for gender equality. But this cannot be something that comes around just once a year near Women’s day, the effort to create inclusivity will have to increase if women are to be given their full civil rights.

This is not just about protecting women from harm and giving them choices that men already have, but about national development. When women join the workforce, workplaces become more productive. It is a proven fact that women tend to work harder, and are paid less. Educated women raise children who stay in school longer and children who become better leaders. When women are given control on household budgets, families become healthier. Gender parity is in our national interest. Child marriage, workplace harassment, rape and intimidation, physical abuse and constraints on a woman’s movements have no place in Pakistan, which professes to be a democratic nation that believes in the equality of men and woman in front of law, and in front of God.