While the world celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8, women in Pakistan are still caught in the trap of a feudal conservative patriarchal society, where women’s day celebrations are condemned and seen against the ‘Islamic’ values, local media reported.

According to the last year’s ‘Global Gender Gap Report 2021’, Pakistan ranked 153 out of 156 countries on the gender parity index, that is, among the last four. It ranked seventh among eight countries in South Asia, only better than Afghanistan. Pakistan’s gender gap has even widened by 0.7 per cent points in 2021 compared to 2020.

Notably, since the Imran Khan government came to power in August 2018, Pakistan’s Global Gender Gap Index has worsened over time. In 2017, Pakistan ranked 143, slipping to 148 in 2018.

The report indicates that Pakistan needs 136 years to close the gender gap, with its existing performance rate. These statistics show that overall progress in reducing the gender gap is stagnant in Pakistan in four areas: economic participation and opportunity; education attainment; health and survival, and political empowerment.

In other words, women in Pakistan are faring badly to men in these four dimensions of the gender index. The report also pointed out that women in Pakistan do not have equal access to justice, ownership of land and non-financial assets or inheritance rights.