Pakistan currently ranks 135
out of 174 in UNDP’s gender related development index. Pakistan lacks in
adequate facilities when it comes to women health in rural areas of the country.
There are religious, socio logical and economic issues which hinders in the
provision of health care for women.
Only in Sindh maternal mortality is six to eight per thousand live births. They
tend to marry at younger ages around six to seven and the fertility rates
average at six births per woman.
Whereas in Khyber PakhtoonKhuwa only 30% women have access to health care
facilities and the religious restrictions of using contraceptive measures
provides trouble to women as the average fertility rate is 5.6 per women in KPK.
As 40% of the province lives under poverty without the access of clean water or
electricity, medical facilities are a luxury which they cannot afford. As the
international organizations are operating in KPK but are facing serious
repercussions from the religious heads of the province.
If we look up to the poorest province of Pakistan, Baluchistan, 63% of the
population faces food insecurity, 36% women are underweight in the province and
63 children out of 1000 dies within the 28 days.
The women in the rural Baluchistan are mostly uneducated and forced to marry at
younger ages, which increases their fertility period and causes health and
development issues in them.
All the provinces of Pakistan are in dire need of experiences health workers,
enlightened teachers and honest clergy, which may contribute in the development
of health issues of women in Pakistan.
Usage of contraceptive measures is taboo to discuss with families. Such issues
often hid under the rug and “Haya” and “Namoos” takes over such discussions.
Pakistani education needs to opt for sex education so that pupils may know about
the challenges they might face when they grow up. As such discussions, do not
take place with parents or peers in Pakistani society, there is no birds and
bees talk, no awareness about reproduction or fertility cycle.
Government, Civil society and the Ulemas need to take a stance in such issues
and try to step ahead as the general population looks up to them for advices and
suggestions. They need to understand hundreds and thousands of women die during
child birth and they are often treated as properties and commodities used in
trading and business purposes. They deserve to be treated as an equal person
when it comes to the decision which will affect their lives.