The situation as of now
To any Pakistani citizen living in the country today, the gender discrimination in our society is no hidden secret. Though our society has come far from the practices of restricting women to only homes, it seems we still have a long way to go to achieve the ideal society we have envisioned for ourselves. Luckily, we agree to the point that we need to bring our women up to the front of our industries. However, it seems more effort still needs to make this dream a reality. Nowhere else is this gender divide more glaring than in the Tech industry in Pakistan.
Why women aren’t entering the tech field
While it is true that lack of education overall is to blame here, one may argue this claim by pointing out that we have the education but we don’t know HOW the education being put to use for the future of women. Truly, Pakistan has seen remarkable progress over the years in education, but as far as women are concerned, it would appear their studies are being confined only to the “necessary” subjects. In short, as any Pakistani would testify, our society only views three industries with the utmost respect: Medicine, Engineering and Business (The Big Three). Anything else is viewed as less superior and therefore given less encouragement to children, ESPECIALLY GIRLS, to pursue.
But that’s only assuming we let our women receive higher education in the first place. Sadly, while we have increased the number of girls in primary and secondary schools over the years, it would seem only the minority of families have realized the need for pushing these bright minds towards technical education, rather than marrying them off as soon as they turn 18. Another of our long-held traditions, unfortunately, is not letting the wife pursue a career after marriage, something unheard of in the modern world but standard in our society, despite how talented and educated she may be.
What a waste!
How the government and NGOs can help
One of the most effective things the government and NGOs can do to help alleviate this gender disparity in our industries is to raise awareness; change starts from home, and until we can convince household members to encourage females to pursue careers, we can’t expect much progress. For the field of Tech, in particular, people need to show just how viable and diverse of a field it is. The Big Three aren’t the end-all-be-all of professions, and it is up to the government and NGOs to help people realize this. Only then will we be able to observe a change for the better.
Tech Pakistan – Girl Digital Leader
TECH Pakistan in this regard has started its non- profit Girl Digital Leader program follows UN Sustainable Goals #5; GDL focused to empower women across Pakistan by enhancing the use of enabling communication technology. The program intends to inculcate digital literacy among the young women of Pakistan and board them for a home-based earning platform of “Blogspay” a social enterprise initiative of TECH Pakistan. The programme aims to transform the lives of one million young girls across Pakistan by providing them with digital education. The initiative has completed 5 successful cohorts so far and inviting applications for the 6th cohort. Girl Digital Leader is spreading its positive vibes successfully across the country with digital literacy education and empowering women to become an entrepreneur and techpreneur.
We want more social organizations and tech houses to come forward and play their key role to empower women digitally and bring them to the front of tech industries not only at national level but international level as well.