In a world that is divided into polar opposites between the haves and have-nots, it’s the women and girls who suffer the most. With an estimated 71 percent of the overall total of modern slaves being female and about 99 percent of them in the commercial sex industry according to UN figures, the future for girls in under-developed nations around the globe is grim.
However, amongst the shrouding darkness, there is welcomed hope. Celebrating the International Day of the Girl Child every year on October 11th, the aim is to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.
Discussing this, Something Haute decided to reach out to some of the biggest women influencers of our entertainment industry and ask them what the girl child lacks the most in Pakistan and what issues need to be worked upon the most. We reached out to over a dozen female influencers in the entertainment industry, out of which these few bothered to respond, sadly proving how low on priority real issues are for most people.
The singer/actress/rockstar is no stranger to speaking up for the rights of women and girls in Pakistan. Influencing people with not only her amazing set of skills, the powerful Meesha Shafi is a force to reckon with.
“This is something I get quite worked up about,” she said, speaking about her outlook on what a girl child lacks in the country. “The root that sets the tone for a whole life of inequality really takes place in the minds of most parents. For a startling majority of girls born in Pakistan, their very birth is with the odds pitted against them.”
The actress also talked about the disparity in society, where the birth of a boy is celebrated in opposition to a girl being born.
“Most under the literacy/poverty line are relentlessly praying for the miracle of a son. And when the arrival of a squalling new soul is announced to be of the female variety, it has a domino effect on the chain of events that follow to determine their life path. No congratulations, the mother is often abused, ostracized, replaced or worse,” Meesha said. “No resources are expended in the way of education or medical attention. The clock ticks while the mother tries and tries again for a boy.”
“The pattern repeats itself endlessly as yet another uneducated girl child is married off to try and have as many sons as possible,” she concluded.
Sanam Saeed is one of the few influencers who has remained true to her beliefs, always. Whether through the projects that she chooses to do, or her outlook on what needs to be done for the women in society, she’s done it all.
“A girl child should not be seen or treated as a burden and married off early,” she said, speaking of the International Day of the Girl Child and what disparities the girl child faces in Pakistan.
Instead, more awareness on the benefits of educating a girl needs to be created. An educated girl can be a breadwinner too and an educated girl who grows up and becomes a mother one day can educate her children too. Educating women has a significant influence on those around them”
Mawra Hocane is studying law and through certain projects like Sammi she has taken up strong roles, which highlight certain issues that threaten women in Pakistan.
“The biggest issue is that a girl child is raised as though she’s inferior to the boys,” she said, speaking about the need to create gender equality in the country. “She needs to be told she’s an equal and deserves the same opportunities and rights!”