1 Empowerment issues It’s because of the interpretation of the existing content, thecomplexity of empowerment of women has been acknowledged by many scientists andsocial workers all around the world. If we consider an instance on this matterwe will see the study done on about five Asian countries that mostly reportedthe influence on gender due to social values and norms due to risinginequality. The findings done by researchers indicated that the concept ofwomen empowerment is much complex since there can be some areas where they arenot empowered; while in some, they have their right of empowerment (2003). Thevalues presented by society matters a lot while talking about women empowermentand to achieve the desired change in the society, the ground of empowermentshould be thoroughly solid. Another study suggested that it’s the word ‘power’ which canact as an influential aspect to bring this change (2010). Furthermore, somesocial workers reportedly suggested that the effects of religion on Pakistanchanged drastically being an identity to dictating the entire lives of thecivilians. That means religion used to be simply a choice and everyone wouldfollow with pure heart but presently, it has been controlling the lives ofpeople around Pakistan (2009). Many other people such as Shaheed also believethat religion and Politics are the primary reasons of women disempowerment inthe country and all around the world.
Illiteracy is also one of the reasons of the womendisempowerment that has been seen over the years in the world. The worldliteracy rates survey taken by SDPI shows the literacy rates of men as 67% andwomen as 48% in Punjab alone. Both the rates declined to 58% and 22% in Baluchistan.In Mastung District, there are many women that are not allowed to participatein outside world and thus, they are left immobile. They don’t even have thepermission of accessing outside market for daily needs. Even though, they haveskills such as embroidery, due to lack of direct interaction with customersthey get fewer wages over their skillfully made materials. Their male familymembers come forward and sell the products made by females being less expertizedand having no motivation for work.
For the achievement of women empowerment, it became mandatoryto include the human rights and the world economic forum decided to work onthis aspect of reality. Since few years, they have had repeatedly tried toincrease awareness of the need of women empowerment and the positive change itwill bring within the society in Pakistan. It would at least take increasedeconomic and social gender equality, equal human rights to males and females, improvedhealth and nutrition and good education (Zahidi 2005).
There are many othersocial firms such as UNIFEM that designed seven stages of achieving the goal ofwomen empowerment in a country. It started from promoting women in leadershiplevel, non-discrimination, giving proper education and employment training towomen, taking care of their security, gender equality, transparency, otherdevelopmental aspects such as food and marketing. It true that power comes along with empowerment but it is alsoone of the complex concepts that make the women empowerment quite difficult. Ithas relatively varied articulations for completely different individuals of thecountry (Zulfiqar 2010). Empowerment for an individual comes in the list of impossiblethings especially those that have to do with the mind-state unless we keepfinding solution at an external manner.
It has been seen in history many timesthat many females react differently to the similar issue irrespective ofreligion and culture. Even if they have same culture and social status, their multiplereactions to the same issue shows their varied level of perception for theworldly things. Many females have the surrendered perception towards the valuesdeclared by society while others stand up against them and try to dominate theethics and values. But at some point, it becomes mandatory to have externalfactors for the growth of inner power for the achievement of women empowerment. Being abstract, the word empowerment brings upon variouscomplication issues related to measurement. It never shows the wholesomepicture that is required for personal and social growth of women.
But for thebroader worldview, it is mandatory to have a measurement map of empowermentwhere the position of women in the world will be known. It has been ahistorical phenomenon of development of several methodologies to measure theempowerment in various ways. The certain tool that is widely used is (GGI)Gender Gap Index since it works in such a way that four sections such ashealth, political, educational and economic growth are covered. Empowerment should be shaping the lives of mere people alongwith becoming an aspect to impact the decisions of day to day life.
Two othermeasuring methods should be considered for empowerment issue such as (GEM) Genderempowerment measure and (GDI) Gender-related development index which primarilyfocuses for highlighting the current status in the country. GDI, however, isused to have the measurement of certain areas of empowerment such as education,income, or age, whereas the other one focuses more on political and economicside of reality for the empowerment issue. Another measurement report in 2010 stated that three should befixed three dimensions of measuring the inequality between men and women suchas labor-ship, empowerment and reproduction. It was done by using anothermeasuring index known as Gender inequality index. The GII focuses on thesufferings faced by females in the country in various walks of their lives. Thesefactors can provide some basic information over the complexity of empowermentbut it fails to describe the daily problems and issues faced by women withrespect to empowerment. Boender and Schuler (2003) suggested different perspectivetowards the measurement of empowering issue presenting the newest sixdimensions such as cultural, legal, economic, personal, psychological and politicalaspects of their lives. But later it was found that the practical applicationof this process is more complex than previously done.
The dimensions areconnected with each other and identifying their relationship is a disastrouswork. Nosheen and Chaudhary (2009) noted the same in their study and arguedabout the unanswered questions regarding women empowerment issues. The measurementissue is subtle in its form and should be clearly researched. It is not doneso, as noted by the researchers, it becomes difficult to determine the exactspecifications of the context of empowerment. To conclude, since there are various aspects of empowerment andit differentiates in culture and region the measurement issue should vary too. Otheraspects of life that matters in measuring this issue are married life, economy,bank account, finances, joint family and caste or religion. But due to dauntingnumber of empowerment determinants it becomes impossible to capture the fulldetailed analysis of the issue.
2.2 Empowerment in economy There have had been multiple micro programs in past few years thatwere developed for the possibility of progress in this context. These programswere especially famous among social workers, governmental organizations, and otherdonors. They specifically targeted women having less wage and power, no labor,less credit to give them equal opportunity of development in the economicfield. Women’s economic development has been a topic of discussion sincevarious decades and this led to the change in country policy. Their currentfocus is to give them credited system of economic freedom rather than financialhelp since the former helps the women to become independent by being linkedwith the banking field.
This marks their expectations of development in theareas of inequality. This credit system has been the topic of discussion foreveryone around the nation. Various firms and organizations tried to have a specificmodel that should be as good as banks from other countries that has creditsystem successfully established for poor citizens. The micro-credit system canbe said as firmly developing methodology that has given its cooperation towardsthe economic growth. This has made women feel empowered and it gave them theproductive role they desired to have in the society. This happened due to theestablishment of credit program that mostly focused on the measurement ofsuccess to see the number of credit being delivered to the women and the levelof repayment to provide better facilities.