ISLAMABAD - Gender inequality remains an unfortunate reality in Pakistan as 11.3 per cent girls in Pakistan are out of school.

According to 2013 report of Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), gaps in learning outcomes for girls at a national level are strikingly low as compared to boys, as only 40 per cent girls can read at least sentences in Urdu/Pashto/Sindhi in comparison to 46 per cent boys.

Similarly only 43 per cent and 38 per cent girls can read at least English words and do basic subtraction respectively.

Some 17.3 per cent girls are out of school in Balochistan and 15.4 per cent girls are out of school in Sindh. This leaves a large gap in issues of access, quality and learning outcomes for girls.

To throw light on the current statistics on education for girls and the challenges being faced by them in conflict areas in Pakistan, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi and Oxfam GB in collaboration with young activists and civil society members organised a seminar titled: 'Her Right To Education: Ensuring Quality Education for ALL Girls.'

The idea is to gauge the themes affecting girls education, whether it is gender responsive budgeting, policy and law or international progress for the rights of girls education.

 Ayesha Bilal, the research and program coordinator at ITA, shared a presentation on "Evidence on Girls Education: Challenges of Implementation in Emergencies/ Conflict".

This brought forward the diverse gender gaps in educations which are perpetrated by conflict most severely in the province of Balochistan and FATA as per ASER Pakistan.

The next session in the consultation was conducted by members of Beydaar, a youth led organisation, outlining the voice of youth for girls education and the efforts being made to bring girls at par with boys.

The moderated session included panellists Saeedul Hassan, head of girls education programme at Oxfam GB, and Nargis Sultana, senior programme officer at Open Society Foundation.

Both the panellists highlighted the urgent need to address the gaps in education and encouraged the youth to target parents who are reluctant to send their girls to school.

Issues such as the kidnapping of the 276 Nigerian girls, atrocities against the children of Gaza and Palestine, the displacement of children in North Waziristan and Khyber Pakhtunkua were thoroughly highlighted as challenges towards girls education. The participants called for stepped up  struggle to cope the challenge.