2.1 illiteracy in Mastung district. The district also had

2.1       Empowerment issues

 

Of the entire population in the district, the women were found
to be 47% and all of them depended on
male citizens for their living. The survey carried out by MICS (2010) stated
that the ratio of girls to boys is in an imbalanced state; for example, if men
are 40% then the women could be 20% of the population. Major of them are
illiterate due to several reasons namely religion, society, male domination
etc. Poverty was found to be one of the major reasons for illiteracy in Mastung
district. The district also had poor health situation since the absence of
abundant doctors there and this led to having less attention towards the common
checkups in hospitals and lack of professional delivery assistance. The major
issues faced by women there are that due to illiteracy, females are not aware
of their ownership rights and this has
increased the dominance of men over them. There are no female doctors in the
wards and hospitals, especially in the maternity ward for helping the pregnant
women out. Many other issues include illiteracy, gender inequality, unpaid
wages, employment ignorance, state representation and much more. (District
profile 2011)

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It’s because of the interpretation of the existing content, the
complexity of empowerment of women has been acknowledged by many scientists and
social workers all around the world. If we consider an instance of this matter we will see the study done in about five Asian countries that mostly
reported the influence of gender due to
social values and norms due to rising inequality. The findings done by
researchers indicated that the concept of women empowerment is much complex
since there can be some areas where they are not empowered; while in some, they
have their right of empowerment (2003). The values presented by society matters
a lot while talking about women empowerment and to achieve the desired change in
the society, the ground of empowerment should be thoroughly solid.

 

Another study suggested that it’s the word ‘power’ which can
act as an influential aspect to bring this change (2010). Furthermore, some
social workers reportedly suggested that the effects of religion on Pakistan
changed drastically being an identity to dictating the entire lives of the
civilians. That means religion used to be simply a choice and everyone would
follow with a pure heart but presently,
it has been controlling the lives of people around Pakistan (2009). Many other
people such as Shaheed also believe that religion and Politics are the primary
reasons for women disempowerment in the
country and all around the world.

 

Illiteracy is also one of the reasons for the women disempowerment that has been seen over the years in
the world. The world literacy rates survey taken by SDPI shows the literacy
rates of men as 67% and women 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 participate in outside world and thus, they are left
immobile. They don’t even have the permission of accessing outside market for
daily needs. Even though, they have skills such as embroidery, due to lack of
direct interaction with customers they get fewer wages over their skillfully made
materials. Their male family members come forward and sell the products made by
females being less expertized and having no motivation for work.

 

For the achievement of women empowerment, it became mandatory
to include the human rights and the world economic forum decided to work on
this aspect of reality. Since few years, they have had repeatedly tried to
increase awareness of the need for women
empowerment and the positive change it will bring to the society in Pakistan. It would at least take increased
economic and social gender equality, equal human rights to males and females, improved
health and nutrition and good education (Zahidi 2005). There are many other
social firms such as UNIFEM that designed seven stages of achieving the goal of
women empowerment in a country. It started from promoting women in leadership
level, non-discrimination, giving proper education and employment training to
women, taking care of their security, gender equality, transparency, other
developmental aspects such as food and marketing.

 

It true that power comes along with empowerment but it is also
one of the complex concepts that make the women empowerment quite difficult. It
has relatively varied articulations for completely different individuals of the
country (Zulfiqar 2010). Empowerment for an individual comes in the list of
impossible things especially those that have to do with the mind-state unless
we keep finding a solution in an external manner. It has been seen in
history many times that many females react differently to the similar issue
irrespective of religion and culture. Even if they have the same culture and social status, their multiple reactions
to the same issue show their varied level
of perception for the worldly things. Many females have the surrendered
perception towards the values declared by society while others stand up against
them and try to dominate the ethics and values. But at some point, it becomes
mandatory to have external factors for the growth of inner power for the
achievement of women empowerment.

 

Being abstract, the word empowerment brings upon various
complication issues related to measurement. It never shows the wholesome
picture that is required for personal and social growth of women. But for the
broader worldview, it is mandatory to have a measurement map of empowerment
where the position of women in the world will be known. It has been a
historical phenomenon of development of several methodologies to measure the
empowerment 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 as
health, political, educational and economic growth are covered.

 

Empowerment should be shaping the lives of mere people along
with becoming an aspect to impact the decisions of day to day life. Two other
measuring methods should be considered for empowerment issue such as (GEM)
Gender empowerment measure and (GDI) Gender-related development index which primarily
focuses on highlighting the current
status in the country. GDI, however, is used to have the measurement of certain
areas of empowerment such as education, income, or age, whereas the other one
focuses more on the political and economic side
of reality for the empowerment issue.

 

Another measurement report in 2010 stated that three should be
fixed three dimensions of measuring the inequality between men and women such
as labor-ship, empowerment, and
reproduction. It was done by using another measuring index known as Gender
inequality index. The GII focuses on the sufferings faced by females in the country
in various walks of their lives. These factors can provide some basic
information about the complexity of
empowerment but it fails to describe the daily problems and issues faced by
women with respect to empowerment.

 

Boender and Schuler (2003) suggested different perspective
towards the measurement of empowering issue presenting the newest six dimensions
such as cultural, legal, economic, personal, psychological and political
aspects of their lives. But later it was found that the practical application
of this process is more complex than previously done. The dimensions are
connected with each other and identifying their relationship is a disastrous
work. Nosheen and Chaudhary (2009) noted the same in their study and argued
about the unanswered questions regarding women empowerment issues. The measurement
issue is subtle in its form and should be clearly researched. It is not done
so, as noted by the researchers, it becomes difficult to determine the exact
specifications of the context of empowerment.

 

To conclude, since there are various aspects of empowerment and
it differentiates in culture and region the measurement issue should vary too. Other
aspects of life that matter in measuring
this issue are married life, economy, bank account, finances, joint family and
caste or religion. But due to a daunting
number of empowerment determinants, it
becomes impossible to capture the full detailed analysis of the issue.

 

2.2 Empowerment in economy

 

There have had been multiple microprograms
in past few years that were developed for the possibility of progress in this
context. These programs were especially famous among social workers,
governmental organizations, and other donors. They specifically targeted women
having less wage and power, no labor, less credit to give them the equal opportunity of development in the
economic field. Women’s economic development has been a topic of discussion
since various decades and this led to the change in country policy. Their
current focus is to give them a credited system
of economic freedom rather than financial help since the former helps the women
to become independent by being linked with the banking field. This marks their
expectations of development in the areas of inequality.

 

This credit system has been the topic of discussion for
everyone around the nation. Various firms and organizations tried to have a
specific model that should be as good as banks from other countries that has
credit system successfully established for poor citizens. The micro-credit
system can be said as firmly developing a methodology
that has given its cooperation towards the economic growth. This has made women
feel empowered and it gave them the productive role they desired to have in the
society. This happened due to the establishment of credit program that mostly
focused on the measurement of success to see the number of credit being
delivered to the women and the level of repayment to provide better facilities.

 

According to one published study, among all the small kids
ranging from 6 to 10, about 40% girls and 30% boys do not go to school. And the
ratings become worst as the age goes higher. Now it indicates that since
education system is not up to the mark in Pakistan, especially in rural areas,
employment is also degrading in its way. Even if the women are given the
opportunity for employment, they are being kept underutilized and the major
focus is usually given to male employees. The number of women receiving actual
training is considerably lower, about 11%
than the rates of males. Among 15 to 64 aged women groups, the rates of females
decreased to only 26% of having labor job. Even after this, the number employed
women remains 12% of the entire population in urban areas.

 

Among women graduates, about 30% of them earned less wage
whereas, only 10% of graduates among men earn the wages similar to these
females. Females usually working for some relatives or her family member are
usually left unpaid. There are about 60%
women who are unpaid workers and works a full
day as a regular employee. Another problem that was seen in the economic
sector of Pakistan was the gap of gender wage. Women who have high education,
such as engineers, earn almost similar to that of men. But the level of
earnings decreases for women as the level of the post comes down. For example, a primary school teacher in Mastung
district earns the wage of 43% while the male teachers have 60% earnings in
their respective hands.

 

The women being below the poverty
line are sometimes unable to have saved funds for better future and
established empowerment. The more women work in such a condition, the less number
of possibilities are there for them to come out of poverty. Among the
households, about 21% of them and about 27% women in total are below poverty
line.

 

This had been the primary reason for the credit system that was
brought in by the government or private
firms. Micro-crediting system has been an important part of the empowerment
system in entire Pakistan. Even financial
firms have also started this crediting system for the growth of women and their
empowerment. They targeted women living in poverty as well as below poverty
levels and provided the facilities for
improving their standard of living. This shows the positive aspect of crediting
system and its effects on women empowerment system. A study (2001) shows that
this crediting system plays a vital role in improving the level of poor and
below poverty level women and provided the
stability in life.

 

Since the positive effects of the crediting system had been noticed by many people, some researchers
also did several studies on the decided
subject. They needed to see the relation and effects of both on the social and
economic level of reality. Malik (2005) and his team researched thoroughly on
the subject matter and found out that this crediting processes had indeed shown
better results in the past, but still it failed to provide the overall
solution. The empowerment of women
occurred at some level due to its complete uniqueness but some women even had
to face negative impacts of the entire crediting system. Another social worker
concluded that woman who took loans don’t have full control over money. Rather
they would sometimes give the control to the male members of their family.

 

Another kind of system
that researchers came up with was microfinance. It is especially for people
earning low or no income to start a small business and usually, the banking system is
involved it in. it was thought that this system was better for development of
equal rights of gender since it provided females to have self-employment and have
power over money. In many other countries, this system had been a key aspect of
helping poor people out. Multiple banks have already started to bring it in and helped the country to bring poverty
above the heads of water.

 

Pakistan too has been trying to bring in a certain aspect of service between female
individuals to provide the helping hand
for improving their condition in life. It was initially difficult to do so, but
few non-governmental firms and the state bank
of Pakistan also provided such services to the public at large. They all have
women with a poor background as their
primary focus with an objective to improve their financial as well as social
condition. The main purpose was to have an established role of women in decision
making in their families and having increased social level in the society
(Rehman 2007). Some social workers even declared that the microfinance can be a
required solution for the benefit of women in the nation.

 

Several studies were made to see the connection between
microfinance and women empowerment and the claim that was made that it has positive
effects on women. One of these studies states that the impact seemed to have
positive effects on the empowerment of women and they successfully achieved economic
growth.

 

3.1 The study area selection criteria

 

Mastung district has ranked 13th in the entire
Balochistan with respect to the enlarged area, which is 5,896 SQ KM. there have
been major divisions of society: Khan, Brahui, and
Dehwar. Among these groups, Mastung has about 80% population of Brahui alone. There
are many sub-tribes of Brahui namely,
Shahwani, Sarpara, Raisani, Kurd, Lango, Mahammad
Sahi, Lehri and many more. The tribes that reside in Mastung have farming or
agriculture as their primary occupational duty for earning money. People living
in this district usually settle for having two meals per day but this was found
to be the system of rural areas. Majority of urban population settle for
breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It a usual
routine to have women at home and men at work in many houses in Mastung
district. The decision making in most of the joint families of Mastung is in
the hands of senior male member and women are always dominated by them. Women don’t have the freedom to select
their own husbands with respect to marriage; it usually is either their fathers
or brothers who take care of this.

 

Being a tribal society, most
men are in the highest political position in Mastung. Social power is always in
the hands of men in Mastung and females are usually seen as a domestic person.
Women usually take care of children, clothes, field, and livestock and also do
the household chores; the literacy rate of the women in Mastung is currently
(2011) 27.9%. The social status of women is usually determined by the level of
status achieved by their husbands. Suppose if the husband is the Nawab of the
town, his wife will be greatly respected around the place whereas the wife of a
laborer will be neglected. The main reason for it
seemed to be the tribal system that was found to have a deep root in their
family traditions.

 

The male population was found to be 58% in the year 1961. In
the year 1981 the male population was 51%, in the year 1998 it was 53% and
finally in 2010, it became 53% of the entire population. Women’s population
varied in various levels every decade. In the year 1961, it was 43% of the
entire population whereas it increased to 57% in the year 1981. Due to some
reasons, it again dropped to 47% in 2010. That means by 2010, the male
population was found to be 102 thousand and females were 90 thousand of the
entire population.

 

One survey taken in 1998c stated that among all houses in Mastung,
about 11% of the residents lived in a rent-free
house, 2% were giving rents and about 86% of the total had owned houses. But
ever since the separation happened, the demands for residential houses and rent
houses drastically increased in doubled rates.

 

Research design.

 

The data has to be collected and have to have a proper analysis
for achieving the goal of research design. This research is done to have a
realistic approach towards the specific topic of the field. The primary phase
of the current topic was done in order to find the research questions and the
first phase was known as desk study while the second approach was the case
study. In the first phase, they collected information regarding the subject
through various methods such as internet search, books, people etc. in the
second phase, they collected the
information and other important data while doing the field analysis.