The Pakistani government isn’t providing children living in poverty with the facilities they need to learn, according to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published Monday.
Millions of girls are especially at risk, and HRW is calling on the government to step up for their futures, the Guardian reports.
According to the report, titled Shall I Feed my Daughter or Educate Her?, more than one-third of Pakistani girls are not attending primary school, compared to 21% of boys. Only 13% of girls are still in school by the 9th grade.
“Many of the girls we interviewed are desperate to study, but instead are growing up without the education that would help them have options for their future,” HRW Women’s Rights Director Liesl Gerntholtz told the Guardian.
In Pakistan, young girls miss school partly because of the Sunni Islamic militant group the Taliban. The group claims educating women goes against Islam. But according to the report, Pakistan’s school system is primarily responsible for the country’s education barriers. he government hasn’t invested enough in schools, especially ones for girls, HRW says. Unaffordable school fees, corporal punishment, low-quality public and private schools, corruption, and lenient regulation also contribute to the country’s education crisis.
For many young girls in Pakistan, receiving an education is their only hope for avoiding child marriage. It is estimated that 21% of girls in Pakistan are married before the age of 18, according to the organization Girls Not Brides.
“We hope that our findings will help the government to diagnose the problems and identify solutions that will give every Pakistani girl a bright future,” Gerntholtz said.
Read the full article about girls’ education in Pakistan by Leah Rodriguez at Global Citizen
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