When I first time saw women driving buses, trucks, and trains in the United States I amazed. Of course I have read about it but even it was a pleasant shock for me. When I shared this information to my family they were not ready to believe this, still my mom believes that I am joking…

Since our civilization evolved, women have been instrumental in doing all works which men are doing. The contribution of her is countless, despite she faces disadvantage, discrimination and oppression in various ways and this way we are wasting our half of population or Human resource which easily be turned in to the Human capital if we bring gender equality. The result of this inequality is that although women constitute half of the humanity, their role in public life, especially politics, is minimal in most societies. We should not forget that Earlier, only men were allowed to participate in public affairs, vote and contest for public offices. Thanks to Mr. Mehbubul Haque’s Human Development Index which included Women Empowerment as a criteria of development in 1994.This demanded enhancing the political and legal status of women and improving their educational and career opportunities. And encouraged many radical women’s movements aimed at equality in personal and family life as well. These movements are called FEMINIST movements.

A year ago we had organized a painting competition for school children. We had themes, kitchen and office. – 99 % children did show women in kitchen and men in office. Boys and girls are brought up to believe that the main responsibility of women is housework and bringing up children and men do all the work outside the home. This gender division tends to be understood as natural and unchangeable. However, it is not based on biology but on social expectations and stereotypes.

My Mom always says to outsiders: “I don’t work. I am a housewife.” But I see her working non-stop all the time. If what she does is not work, what else is work? The work done by men is more visible because most of their work leads to generation of income. Women also do a lot of direct income generating work, but the bulk of their work is household related. This work remains unpaid and invisible.

According to Nike foundation’s Report if 10% more girls go to secondary school, the countries economy grows 3%. And when an educated girl earns income she reinvests 90% of it in her family, compared to 35 % for a boy. More over A girl with 7 years of education marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children. World is now realizing that without inclusion of women Economic development is utopian and in the words of World Bank’s President Mr. R. Zoellick “Gender and women’s empowerment are at the core of what we need to do in development. It is not just women’s issue. Gender equality is smart economics.” Now this is time to condemn the concept is used to refer to a system that values men more and gives them power over women and support a woman or a man who believes in equal rights and opportunities for women and men.

– Zulfiqar Sheth


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