Pakistan failing to educate girls, says HRW


–Report of rights watchdog says 32 pc of Pakistani girls are out of primary school


A report released by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) titled Shall I Feed My Daughter, or Educate Her?- Barriers to Girls’ Education in Pakistan claims that thirty-two percent of girls are out of primary school in Pakistan, compared to 21 percent of boys.

The gender disparity in access to education is structural, for “by grade six, 59 percent of girls are out of school, versus 49 percent of boys. Only 13 percent of girls are still in school by ninth grade.”

This report is primarily based on research conducted in Pakistan in 2017 and 2018. HRW researchers carried out a total of 209 individual and group interviews, mainly in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, and Quetta. This included girls who had never attended school, parents, teachers, school principals, education experts, activists and community workers.

Liesl Gerntholtz, the women’s rights director at the non-profit, argues that political instability, disproportionate influence on governance by security forces, repression of civil society and the media, violent insurgency, and escalating ethnic and religious tensions are all reasons for these irregularities in literacy.

“While handing off responsibility to private school operators and religious schools might seem like a solution, nothing can absolve the state of its obligation, under the international and domestic law, to ensure that all children receive a decent education— something that simply is not happening in Pakistan today.”

However, the human rights watchdog has pinned its hopes on the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, for it claimed in its manifesto that 22.5 million children are out of school in the country.

“The government recognises that education reform is desperately needed and promises to make this a priority, especially for girls – a positive step,” Gerntholtz added.

“We hope that our findings will help the government to diagnose the problems and identify solutions that will give every Pakistani girl a bright future,” she hoped.