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Study highlights pitiful state of uneducated, sexually harassed Pak minority women

Lahore, Thu, 15 Mar 2012 ANI
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Lahore, Mar 15(ANI): Minority women in Pakistan are facing severe problems, including threat of forced conversion, lack of access to education in Pakistan and need a policy response, a study has said.

 

The study pointed to stark realities being faced by minority women, as 43 percent of the minority women complained of facing religious discrimination at the workplace, educational institution and neighbourhood.

 

Twenty seven percent of them admitted facing problems in gaining admission to educational institutions, The Daily Times reports.

 

Only 47 percent of minority women interviewed were educated, which is lower than the national average (57 percent national literacy rate) and far behind the urban literacy among women.

 

Around 76 percent of the working women faced sexual harassment and 62 percent of the respondents believed that the majority community would not support them in the wake of a religious disturbance like those in Shantinagar, Gojra, Korian and Sialkot.

 

The minority women also faced a threat in the form of forced conversion and assimilation into the larger culture. Besides, their families tend to control their autonomy and the important decisions about their lives, making it a case of several jeopardises.

 

The study noted the lack of official data on minorities that could actually help the civil society and government make interventions to improve the conditions of minority women.

 

The study conducted in 2010-11 by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) interviewed 1,000 Hindu and Christian women- the two communities forming 92 percent of the entire minority population of Pakistan, in 26 districts of Punjab and Sindh, which comprise 95 percent of minorities. (ANI)

 

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