LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Meena was born in middle-class family in Afghanistan in February 27, 1956 in Kabul. ‘Meena’ is a Persian word which means “light”. Her father always told “she is the light of my life”. At the age of 12 she was stricken by typhoid. The whole family was very unhappy because of the fear of her impending death. The typhoid was very common in Afghanistan in those days and many were died of this disease. After a long treatment she became healthy and began a perpetual struggle for women rights in Afghanistan.
For this purposes she started campaign with the name of, Payam-e-Zan in 1981. First of all she focused on democracy by which she meant the right to vote for women. Then she pressed for equality and social Justice for women by that she meant provision of basic rights of women to get education, health facility and freedom from poverty. Simultaneously she also struggled to end the discrimination on the basis of gender.
Women face all these problems in Asia which have been identified by Meena many years ago. In developed countries like America and China, women are totally free to get education, right to vote and right to marry according to their own free will. In Asia women are considered just to look after their children and her husband and to stay most of the time in kitchen. In Pakistan especially in rural areas, modern education for women is considered against religion, tradition and culture. More than 70% of Pakistani population lives in rural areas where there is inequality in educational system, as there are more primary and secondary schools for boys as compared to girl’s schools. Health system in Pakistan is paralyzed by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Hospitals lack basic facilities like medicine. It’s estimated that in every 1000 women 30 dies during childbirth and it is because of lack of hospitals, doctors and lack of medical education.
Heroic figures like Meena, Malala and Edhi do play significant role in bring positive changes in lives of citizenry but basically it is state responsibility to protect women and their rights and to give free education to its citizens. Government should make a policy for women education system and implement it all over the country. Such policy would be fruitful for our country.
By Raza ullah Lakki Marwat