Women Health issues in rural Pakistan.

(Zaid Mahmood Butt, )

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.


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27 Dec, 2017 Views: 3829


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