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Newspost

March 8, 2018

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Girls at school

Today (Mar 8), the entire world is celebrating International Women’s Day. For the rest of the day, the world will focus its attention on the plight of women and the challenges they face. While there is certainly a long list of issues that stand in the way of the realisation of women’s rights, it is imperative that we, in Pakistan, focus our attention, energies and funds on empowering our young girls through education. In this day and age, Pakistan still has 22.6 million out-of-school children and 53 percent of them are girls. A few fortunate girls who do end up going to school fail to complete their studies beyond the primary level.

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Nationwide, the net enrollment rate for girls is 53 percent at the primary level, 21 percent at the middle and only 14 percent at the high school level. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the net enrollment rate for girls at primary stands at 51 percent; this drops to just 17 percent in middle schools and becomes as little as eight percent at the high school level. Many research studies have shown that high school diplomas or university degrees, girls cannot grow into truly empowered adults. On this International Women’s Day, we demand the higher authorities to ensure that all girls have an access to quality education – at least up till Grade 12. This is the least we can do to give them a chance at a brighter future.

Amna Karim

Islamabad

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