New Social Compact
Inclusive Education: A Major Concern -A Case Study Of Pakistan
Education has been considered as one of the most basic and crucial need for any economic, cultural, social and policy plan. Rather than just being a right of everyone education has been considered throughout as a process through which different societies plan their socio economic development. In today’s era, education has a pivotal role to play in the poverty reduction, sustained economic growth and in many other fields. Education and literacy in Pakistan and around the globe is recognized as crucial to grasp the goals of sustainable and balanced development. However, both of these elements are termed as imperative for socio economic development worldwide.
According to the data received from the Pakistan’s bureau of statistic, Pakistan across its spread has over 260,903 institutions and is providing around 41,018,384 students with approximately 1,535,461 teachers serving in different institutions. The private sector has 31% institutions under its banner while the remaining 69% institutions are public institutes. Having seen the number of institutes operating in Pakistan still the country stands second in the world with the highest number of out-of-school children (OOSC). 44% of the total population between the age group of 5-16 is not attending the schools, 5 million remains not enrolled in schools, while 11.4% adolescents between the ages of 10-14 are not provided formal education.
Inclusive education has been a dare need for Pakistan as it can rebuilt the country’s growth for the good. It can give an access to so many under privileged who do not have the platforms to prove their mettle and excel in the specific interests. Pakistan needs to enforce education for all to glorify the intelligence, the minds of its country. The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training of the Government of Pakistan supports the UNESCO definition of inclusive education as:
“A strategy for responding to and meeting the variety of needs of all learners by raising participation in education, cultures, and communities and reducing exclusion from and within it”. It requires modifications and adaptations in terms of content, methods, structures, and strategies with a shared vision that includes all children of the appropriate age range and the conviction that the regular system has a responsibility to teach all children. “The premise of inclusion is advantageous not only for kids with special needs, but for all kids, regardless of their gender, color, personality traits, or financial circumstances of their parents,”
The Islamabad Declaration on Inclusive Education, which was endorsed by all provincial and federal governments in 2005, demanded an operational definition of inclusion education as being aimed to:
‘… ensure that all children, regardless of gender, abilities, disabilities, socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds: are treated with dignity and respect; have equal access to education, health services, employment, and all other aspects of life; are able to develop to their full academic, physical, emotional, and social potential; have access to learning material in appropriate media and technical devices; and develop confidence in their abilities, skills, and future.
Realizing the value of education, the Pakistani government is working diligently to increase the literacy rate by educating children in underserved regions using a variety of methods. However the country has been unable to overcome the prevailing issues that have led a question mark on the success of inclusive education. These issues are as following:
Gender Inequality: Due to men and cultural sensitivities that perpetuate the notion that education is not beneficial for women, girls are often not allowed to attend schools in many rural Pakistani areas. Families in remote villages, where subsistence farming is often the main means of survival, often can only afford to send one child to school. Typically, the boy is sent because he will certainly become the family’s largest breadwinner. Girls are viewed as “operating the stove,” which is their contribution to the household.
Government Investment: The government’s investment in education in Pakistan, at 2% of GDP (World Bank, 2021), is among the lowest in the world. The Pakistani community does not participate in or have any sense of ownership over projects and programs related to their children’s education as the result of corruption, a lack of political will, a central governance system, poverty, and political unrest
Inadequate schooling systems: According to world bank, in Pakistan, 40 percent of schools lack boundary walls, 36 percent lack drinking water facilities, 61 percent lack power, 39 percent lack sanitary facilities, and 6 percent lack any structures, according to the most recent survey measuring Pakistani social and living standards. Most schools have a shortage of desks and chairs, and others don’t even have mats for students to sit on. Furthermore, the majority of coeducational primary schools are in disrepair, and the majority of rural school buildings are constructed of a mix of mud and wood.
Discriminatory societal attitudes: Discriminatory societal attitudes portray children with disabilities and their families as being ashamed, humiliated, or in disgrace. It is believed that a child’s impairment is God’s retribution for a parent’s transgression. In the eyes of many, a disabled child is better served at home than in a classroom. The subpar instruction provided at the majority of schools for girls and kids with disabilities only serves to support these viewpoints. Furthermore, due to a lack of qualified instructors and experts as well as inadequate pediatric health care, children with disabilities have requirements that are not met in schools or anywhere else.
Education system based on unequal lines: The Pakistani educational system is structured on unequal lines, which has a direct impact on educational quality, particularly at the primary level. At every level, the medium of instruction varies between the public and private sectors. People are split into two halves as a result, creating some type of imbalance. One division is based on English as the primary language of instruction, and the other is based on Urdu. To maintain a high standard of education across the nation, it would be preferable to standardize the educational media.
No trained teachers: Government school teachers lack adequate training. If political parties have complete control over the educational system, even instructors with no professional training can easily find employment there without having to pass any difficult requirements. They cannot train a nation by providing high-quality education since they are not qualified teachers. However, more skilled professionals can educate the populace to create a good country.
Pakistan has been facing many other issues such poverty, no rights for transgender education, transportation issues among many others. Furthermore, Pakistan has been struggling to increase its literacy rates in the country but there is no such improvement visible in the country.
According to the World Bank, Pakistan adopted the UN Conventions on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and Article 25a of the country’s constitution guarantees all children the access to free basic education. However, these texts will have no practical influence on the lives of people they were intended to help unless there is political will, a thorough action plan, successful execution, and community understanding of the right to — and value of — education for all children. Other programs include Initial steps in the development of a support system for children with special educational needs (including children with disabilities), Awareness programs have been initiated towards education authorities, communities, schools and parents, Extensive teacher training, 16 government primary schools divided into 4 school clusters in Islamabad, 4 government schools (will soon be expanded to 6 schools) in Quetta.
Other than these Pakistan have no additional programs to encourage inclusive education. The process of inclusive education has remained stagnant since announcement and there is hardly any news related to new reforms in the education sector. Since in accordance to the World Bank, Pakistan is now a part of South Asian countries with the lowest literacy rate.
The following are some of the major recommendations to encourage inclusive education in Pakistan:
1. Parents, schools, legislators, service providers, and community members should never regard handicapped children differently.
2. Avoid ignorance on the part of parents regarding the potential of children with impairments.
3. Availability of bathrooms, classrooms, playgrounds, and transportation at the school.
4. There must be no prejudice in the systems for education, assessment, and exams.
5. Free basic education must be provided to the students belonging to families with constrained monetary means.
6. A through action plan must be developed to avoid any insufficient support structure, including a shortage of trained professionals and paraprofessionals.
7. Every school must provide transportation for the soundness and safety of the students.
8. The worth of experience sharing and help from all parties involved in putting inclusive education into practice in both word and spirit.
This study demonstrates that the Pakistani educational system cannot be improved by sound policies and constitutional changes alone. In order to remove obstacles to inclusive education, it is necessary to improve community involvement in school systems. Enhancing accessibility, quality, equity, and knowledge of gender equality and the rights of individuals with disabilities are the goals. These suggestions will guarantee access and equity in primary education for all children, including girls, transgender children, and children with disabilities, with national and international support. This would also aid in reducing gender disparities in primary education and enhance primary school learning results in Pakistan.
New Social Compact
The Untapped Potential of Women’s Contributions to Peace building
Women’s contributions to peace building have long been undervalued and overlooked, despite their immense potential to contribute to more effective and sustainable peace processes. This is an issue of critical importance, as conflicts around the world continue to have devastating impacts on individuals, communities, and entire nations. Women have unique perspectives and experiences that can help to foster understanding, build trust, and promote reconciliation in the aftermath of conflict. Moreover, research has shown that peace agreements that involve women are more likely to be successful and enduring. Therefore, it is essential that we recognize and harness the untapped potential of women’s contributions to peace building efforts. This article will explore the underrepresentation of women in peace building, the benefits of their participation, and the potential for increasing their involvement in these efforts. Ultimately, it will argue that increasing women’s participation in peace building is not only a matter of justice and equality, but also essential for achieving more effective and sustainable peace outcomes.
The underrepresentation of women in peace building efforts
Despite the growing recognition of the importance of women’s participation in peace building efforts, they remain significantly underrepresented in these processes. According to the United Nations, only 13% of negotiators, 6% of mediators, and 6% of signatories to peace agreements from 1992-2018 were women. Moreover, women are often excluded from formal peace negotiations altogether, with only 4% of signatories to peace agreements in 2015-2019 being women. This lack of representation is particularly concerning given the unique perspectives and experiences that women can bring to peace building efforts.
One of the key barriers to women’s participation in peace building is the persistent gender inequalities that exist in many societies. Women often have limited access to education and economic opportunities, as well as unequal representation in political and decision-making processes. This can make it difficult for women to gain the skills and experience necessary to participate effectively in peace building efforts. In addition, cultural and societal norms often restrict women’s mobility and restrict their ability to participate in public life, including in peace building.
Another key challenge is the prevalence of gender-based violence, which is often a feature of conflict and can prevent women from participating in peace building efforts. Women who are perceived as challenging traditional gender roles or participating in political activities may face harassment, intimidation, and even physical violence. This can make it difficult for women to engage in peace building activities and can discourage them from speaking out about their experiences and perspectives.
Thus, underrepresentation of women in peace building efforts is a significant concern that must be addressed if we are to achieve more effective and sustainable peace outcomes. Efforts to increase women’s participation must address the systemic barriers and challenges that prevent their involvement and must work to ensure that women’s perspectives and experiences are recognized and valued in peace building processes.
The benefits of women’s participation in peace building
The benefits of women’s participation in peace building efforts are numerous and have been demonstrated in various contexts. Research has shown that women’s involvement in peace processes can lead to more comprehensive and sustainable outcomes. This is due in part to the unique perspectives and experiences that women bring to peace building efforts.
Studies have shown that when women are involved in peace negotiations, the resulting agreements are more likely to include provisions that address the needs and concerns of women and other marginalized groups. This can help to promote greater equity and inclusivity in the aftermath of conflict. In addition, women’s involvement in peace building can help to build trust and promote reconciliation, as women are often seen as neutral parties who can bridge divides between different groups.
There are numerous examples of successful peace building efforts that involved women. For example, in Liberia, women played a crucial role in bringing an end to the country’s civil war in 2003. The Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace movement, led by women from all walks of life, organized protests and sit-ins that brought international attention to the conflict and helped to pressure the warring parties to negotiate a peace agreement. Women were also involved in the negotiations themselves and were instrumental in ensuring that the final agreement included provisions that addressed the needs of women and girls, such as support for survivors of sexual violence and the establishment of a gender-sensitive police force.
Similarly, in Colombia, women played a key role in negotiations to end the country’s decades-long armed conflict. Women’s groups were involved in the negotiations from the outset and successfully advocated for the inclusion of provisions on gender-based violence and women’s rights in the final agreement. Women have continued to play an important role in the implementation of the agreement, working to ensure that it is implemented in a way that benefits all Colombians.
The potential for women’s contributions to peace building
Despite the evidence of the positive impact of women’s participation in peace building, women are still underrepresented in these efforts. This represents a significant untapped potential for the promotion of peace and security in conflict-affected regions around the world.
One reason for this underrepresentation is the persistent gender inequalities that women face in many societies. These inequalities can limit women’s access to education and economic opportunities, as well as prevent them from participating in decision-making processes. Women are also often excluded from traditional power structures, such as peace negotiations and military operations, which can perpetuate their marginalization in peace building efforts.
However, increasing women’s participation in peace building efforts could lead to better outcomes. Women bring unique perspectives and experiences to these efforts that can help to address the root causes of conflict and promote sustainable peace. For example, women are often responsible for the care and well-being of their families and communities, which can give them insight into the needs and priorities of different groups affected by conflict. Women are also more likely to advocate for issues such as human rights, social justice, and inclusivity in peace negotiations, which can help to build more equitable and sustainable peace agreements.
Moreover, research has shown that when women are involved in peace processes, they are more likely to be committed to the implementation of the resulting agreements. This can help to ensure that peace building efforts are sustained over the long term and that the benefits of peace are shared by all members of society.
Overcoming barriers to women’s participation in peace building
Overcoming the barriers to women’s participation in peace building requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses both the structural and societal factors that perpetuate gender inequalities. Here are some potential solutions to increase women’s participation in peace building efforts:
- Increase women’s access to education and training: Education and training can help to build women’s skills and confidence, as well as provide them with the knowledge and tools needed to participate in peace building efforts.
- Create opportunities for women’s leadership: Creating opportunities for women to lead and participate in decision-making processes can help to promote their inclusion in peace building efforts. This can include quotas for women’s representation in peace negotiations and other peace building initiatives.
- Address cultural and societal norms: Addressing cultural and societal norms that limit women’s participation in peace building efforts is essential. This can involve raising awareness about the value of women’s contributions to peace building and promoting gender equality more broadly.
- Engage men and boys in gender equality: Engaging men and boys in gender equality efforts is critical for promoting women’s participation in peace building. This can involve education campaigns that challenge gender stereotypes and promote gender equality.
There have been several successful initiatives that have addressed the barriers to women’s participation in peace building. For example, the United Nations Security Council has adopted several resolutions that call for the increased participation of women in peace building efforts. The Global Acceleration Instrument for Women, Peace and Security is a new initiative aimed at accelerating progress towards the full and meaningful participation of women in all aspects of peace and security processes.
Moreover, grassroots initiatives, such as women’s peace networks and local community organizations, have been successful in promoting women’s participation in peace building. For instance, the Women’s Peace Initiative in South Sudan has been successful in promoting women’s participation in the peace process and advancing the inclusion of women’s rights in the country’s constitution.
In conclusion, I firmly believe that women’s contributions to peace building are essential and have been undervalued for too long. In this article, I have highlighted the underrepresentation of women in peace building efforts, discussed the benefits of their participation, and explored the untapped potential for women’s contributions to peace building.
The statistics and evidence are clear – women’s participation in peace building leads to better outcomes, including more inclusive and sustainable peace. Unfortunately, women face many barriers to their participation, including structural and societal factors that perpetuate gender inequalities. However, there are solutions, and successful initiatives have shown that progress is possible.
I urge readers to take action to increase women’s participation in peace building efforts. This can include supporting women’s leadership, promoting gender equality, and creating opportunities for women to participate in decision-making processes. We must work together to create a more just and equitable world, and recognizing and utilizing women’s contributions to peace building is a critical part of this endeavor.
In conclusion, let us not underestimate the power of women’s contributions to peace building. Their voices and perspectives are essential for building more inclusive and sustainable peace. We have the potential to create a better world, and it starts with recognizing and utilizing the untapped potential of women’s contributions to peace building.
New Social Compact
Aurat March 2023 & Agenda Setting
In history, women are portrayed in default of men. The women in primitive societies were freer and more emancipated than those in advanced societies. Advanced societies continuously extend male domination through psychological, religious, biological, and economic conditions to justify women’s inferiority. From 1960 onwards, women have built the consciousness to combat and march against the social ferment. Aurat March in Pakistan is the manifestation of turning the tide to some extent. It has always been rendered as an immeasurable opportunity to raise the voices of women in society which otherwise would still languish. But the Aurat March is the half march that only elevates the challenges of the urbanized and privileged class. Technically Aurat March is the feminist struggle for few. The platform provides an open sphere to voice against the political and social rights of women in Pakistan but it must check some new windows to surface the cool breeze for all rather than a few.
The women in Gilgit Baltistan or Baluchistan face different kinds of challenges and circumstances in their daily lives. It is an injustice to place the Aurat March by considering the issues of Women in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi. The issues of women in the periphery and other parts of countries are different. The platform to raise voices for historically marginalized human beings must navigate what is urgent needs and demands to address so that we can integrate all women across the country to flourish linearly. The concern about the relative deprivation of women’s progress should be at the agenda setting. It is time to turn this Aurat March into an inclusive force for all women in the country.
Moreover, any movement in history got momentum for a clear vision and demands but unfortunately, the Pakistani version of feminism lacks clarity and vision in this regard. In 2023 the global economy is the digital economy. Only 21% of women in Pakistan have access to the Internet while living in the 21st Century. Aurat March must highlight this issue as the most vulnerable disparity for women. This century is the century of the internet, connectivity, and digitization. If women want to emancipate and exercise their freedom with the awareness of their rights; it is time to integrate the right to the internet and access to the digital world for women as an urgent imperative.
Aging is real. When women lost reproductive function in our society she suddenly becomes irrelevant to the household. Her value and grace were lost with the age. The rural areas are full of the old woman who live a very tough life once they get old. Aurat March is a platform to surface voices, through this platform the awareness, and response system for the miseries and social woes of old women must be heightened. They must challenge the traditional acceptance of the norms for aged women. Aurat March can normalize that aging is a natural process and the acceptance of the aged community shouldn’t be a burden.
Populism is on the rise in Pakistan. Every populist from Donald Trump to Xi Jinping tried to subvert the frontline women’s struggle for their political causes. Historically a populist demagogue and backsliding of democracy halt women’s empowerment. Aurat March must disseminate awareness that how women’s woes exacerbate the democratic depression in any nation. The provision of women’s rights depends on institutional democracy. Aurat March should do justice to build the political consciousness of women through their different platforms for sustainable rights development in the 21st Century.
Role construction plays a huge role in Patriarchal societies. The manufacturing of different roles and associations of venerated feelings functions to develop the system of obedience, passiveness, and immanence. Aurat March should also educate women through their platform that “over association” with the role is proportional to submission to authority and renunciation of the true spirit of freedom. Patriarchal society creates different roles to subjugate women. The agenda-setting of Aurat March must consider building rational choices and rational roles for women in the 21st Century so that the exploitation and injustice to women as human beings must be curtailed.
Finally, Aurat March is at the inception of its evolution as a movement. With time, they must evolve from the narratives of white feminism to South Asian feministic realities. The provision of basic rights, opportunities, and political freedom for all women in all parts of countries irrespective of the geography, region, and provinces should be at the core of the movement in coming years.
New Social Compact
Luxury Predecessors become the Necessity of Successors
It appears that many people’s lives today are increasingly focused on the pursuit of luxury. There is no denying the allure of luxury, whether it be in the form of designer goods, expensive automobiles, or lavish travel. Less frequently discussed, though, is the fact that many people now view the pursuit of luxury as essential to their success rather than just a matter of personal taste.
We need to look at the historical context to comprehend why luxury has evolved into a necessity. Luxury used to be a privilege enjoyed only by the wealthy elite who could afford to splurge on pricey items and experiences. The rise of consumer culture in the 20th century has made it simpler for the middle class to access luxury. More and more people started aspiring to the lifestyle that luxury represented as businesses started marketing luxury goods to a wider audience.
This desire for luxury has evolved to be closely related to our ideas of success. Owning expensive goods is often seen as a sign of success and status. It’s a way for them to demonstrate to the world that they’ve succeeded and are deserving of respect. The pursuit of luxury has consequently evolved into a central theme in the cultural narrative surrounding success.
But why has luxury become such an important part of this narrative? Our society’s escalating competitiveness is one factor. Being unique in a world where everyone is vying for success and attention has become more crucial than ever. And displaying wealth and luxury in a prominent manner is one way to accomplish this. People can advance in their careers and social circles by showing off their wealth and status by purchasing expensive goods.
Luxury is often viewed as a way to reward oneself for effort and success, which is another reason why it has become necessary. In a society where achievement and productivity are prized above all else, the pursuit of luxury can give one a sense of satisfaction and validation. People can get the feeling that their efforts have paid off and that they are entitled to indulge in luxury goods and experiences by doing so.
A prime example of how the success of opulent predecessors can turn into a requirement for successors is the tale of King Bruce and the spider. He, who was in exile and feeling discouraged, saw a spider repeatedly trying to spin a web. The spider kept trying despite repeatedly failing and kept going until it eventually succeeded.
King Bruce was motivated to keep going in his own pursuit of success by the spider’s tenacity. He came to the conclusion that persistence and determination are just as important to success as talent and aptitude. Then, after successfully leading a rebellion against his adversaries, he was able to retake his throne and enjoy the opulent lifestyle that came with it.
In this way, predecessors’ luxuries turn into successors’ needs. They serve as role models for future generations, motivating them to pursue success by showing what is possible with effort and tenacity. Many successors might lack the inspiration and drive to pursue their own ambitious goals if these luxurious predecessors’ examples are not followed.
Similarly, the life of Bill Gates, one of the richest people in the world and a co-founder of Microsoft, illustrates how once-luxury predecessors eventually become necessities for successors. Despite coming from a low-income family, Gates was able to achieve great success through his own perseverance, hard work, and inspiration from other successful people.
The achievements of his well-off forebears, including entrepreneurs and inventors Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, served as inspiration for Gates. He understood that the secret to success wasn’t just talent or intelligence, but also the capacity to keep going in the face of obstacles and setbacks.
Furthermore, through his philanthropic endeavors, Gates has persisted in inspiring and motivating others. His commitment to enhancing people’s lives all over the world has resulted in billions of dollars being donated to charitable organizations. His accomplishments and generosity serve as a motivating example of the value of volunteering and using one’s resources to improve society.
In the end, anyone who aspires to greatness can find inspiration from a successful person who serves as a role model. Successors can demonstrate extravagance in their own lives and have a positive impact on their communities and the world by realizing and putting into practice the lessons learned from luxury predecessors. In fact, successors can learn about the qualities and traits that helped their wealthy predecessors succeed, like hard work, dedication, and perseverance, by looking at their lives and careers. They can learn how to overcome the difficulties and obstacles they might encounter on their own path to success.
Unleashing an Iranian tiger
A Gulf investor with an analytical and artistic bent, Ali al-Salim pinpointed the long-term challenges Saudi Arabia faces as it...
Explainer: Commission proposes to expand digital tools in EU company law
What are the objectives of the Commission’s proposal? This proposal aims to cut red-tape and improve transparency and trust in...
Russia will deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus – EU and NATO went ballistic
Baroness Goldie, who is an experienced Scottish politician and life peer who served as Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party...
The people power being harnessed for cleaner and cheaper energy
As Europe weans itself off fossil fuels, local energy networks are tapping renewable sources to fill the gap and cut...
U.S. bank trouble heralds The End of dollar Reserve system
The US banking system is broken, stresses ‘The Asia Times’. That doesn’t portend more high-profile failures like Credit Suisse. The...
The New Middle East: The Winners and Losers
The Middle East and the Gulf regions are experiencing a political and diplomatic movement that they have not witnessed in...
Pakistan’s Priority Ranking of SDGs
Sustainable development goals are also known as Global or Universal goals that are meant to guide developing and underdeveloped nation-states...
Economy2 days ago
U.S. Is Threatening to Default China Debt Repayment, What Will Beijing Do?
Eastern Europe4 days ago
The dilemma of China’s role as Mediator in the case of Ukraine
South Asia4 days ago
Breaking Diplomatic Norms: Indian Response to OIC & Turkish Support for Kashmir Issue
New Social Compact3 days ago
Aurat March 2023 & Agenda Setting
Middle East4 days ago
China Gains Political Clout in the Middle East at the expense of the US’s Indispensability
Europe4 days ago
If Paris sneezes, will Europe catch cold?
Economy3 days ago
Unpacking the “China Debt Trap” Narrative: Nuances and Context
World News4 days ago
Seymour Hersh: The cover-up