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“THE RIGGED SOLUTION”

Hopes of social transformations and eradicating societal inequalities are often placed on education, but what if the same institutions and the system that is supposed to eliminate societal inequalities is the start amplifying and perpetuating these problems? Well, that's precisely the predicament that we're looking at, the Pakistani education system. A multi-layered gendered system that continues to perpetuate inequality and blatant ignorance. Due to this institutionalized gender inequality not only the number of female students in educational institutions is considerably low than male students.


"There are almost 22.5 million kids out of school. Girls are affected in particular. In Pakistan, 32% of girls in primary school age are out of school, compared with 21% of boys. By sixth grade, 59% of girls are out of school, compared to 49% of boys. Just 13 percent of girls in ninth grade are still in school." (IMTIAZ, Girls’ education).


Even if women somehow manage to get education the content of the textbooks in particular and the curriculum in general does more harm than good in helping young women instead it reinforces the already obsolete ideals of citizenship, moral. Ethics and gender roles.


According to UNESCO's (2004) study on textbooks (for Class 1 to 10th) in Pakistan, only 7.7% female personalities were represented in the textbooks analyzed, among 251 overall personalities. The study also reported that representation of women's historical struggle in the independence movement in the subcontinent had also been neglected in the textbooks analyzed. Only 0.9% of the historical personalities in the textbooks were females.



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While I was reading your post, I recalled a very recent unfortunate event when the picture of Malala was forcibly removed from the textbooks under the section of important Pakistani personalities. If it was some man, picture would have never been removed. You rightly pointed out that our education system is designed to perpetuate and promote discrimination and inequality.

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I totally agree with you. From state level to domestic level, there is hegemony of men which severely affects the participation and representation of women.

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This is such an important topic to be raised. Even in our SSE, we see that majority of the faculty comprises of male professors, and the female professors are very few as compared to them.

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Yes, I totally agree with you.

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As you have shown, there is a serious gender divergence in the statistics of children having access to schools in Pakistan with females being heavily disadvantaged. The statistics maybe worse for girls from different underprivileged groups such as low socio economic class, religious and ethnic minorities. You have also rightfully pointed out how the curriculum is biased against women. Women are nowhere to be found in our history. Even the popular ones like Fatimah Jinnah are discussed very briefly and mostly in association with the Quaid. Thank you for highlighting this.

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Yeah, we have such powerful women, but sadly their contributions are never mentioned in the textbooks due to the hegemony of male oriented discourses in our textbooks.

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