Pakistan is a South-Asian developing country. There are a plethora of social issues and problems that are miring Pakistan from development and progress.
- Child Labour
- Lack of Rule of Law
- Violence, Terrorism, and Extremism
- Gender Discrimination
- Issues pertaining to Girls
- Early and Forced Marriages
…and the list goes on and on and on… These are some major social issues that Pakistan is currently beset with.
Let’s read these issues in little detail one by one.
Over-population is a major social issue in Pakistan. The total population of Pakistan is circa 221 million making Pakistan the fifth most populous country in the world. Moreover, the population growth rate is 2.8% which means an addition of 3.6 million each year in Pakistan. As per estimates, the population of Pakistan will double from the current 221 million to 440 million by 2055. Thus, the population is increasing day by day.
Overpopulation is generally considered the root cause of all the social evils. Over-population leads to crimes, social unrest, deforestation, environmental issues, water crisis, exhaustion of resources, unemployment, lawlessness, corruption, etc.
As per reports, the literacy rate in Pakistan is 58 percent only. Illiteracy leads to inequality among the masses, class differences, social divisions, unemployment, poverty, etc. Illiteracy is the major reason why Pakistan is still a third world developing country and lagging behind the world in various fields.
Unemployment is another major issue in Pakistan. As per reports, the unemployment rate in Pakistan was at approximately 4.45 percent in 2019. Recently, due to the recent pandemic, like in other countries, unemployment has obviously skyrocketed.
Often lack of meritocracy and illiteracy on a large scale are major factors behind unemployment. Furthermore, unemployment gives rise to various social issues like poverty, backwardness, economic downfall of the country, etc.
Poverty is another major social problem in Pakistan. According to a report submitted by the Ministry of Planning and Development in the National Assembly of Pakistan, around 29.5% of Pakistani lived below the poverty line which translates into 55 million people. Moreover, the Economic Survey 2019-20estimates that another 10 million people are likely to slip below the poverty line.
Devoid of resources to earn, people often turn to illegal ways like snatching, stealing, corruption, extortion, etc. for survival. Thus, it will be apt to say that poverty is the mother of various social evils.
Child labor is in inverse relationship to the literacy rate and development of the country. Due to poverty, children are often forced to earn for the family. In Pakistan, many young boys are working in restaurants, workshops, as conductors in public transports, etc. These children without schooling often get involved in various social evils. Morality and character-building are something one can learn from his social circle, companions, and schools. Thus, child labor gives rise to a number of other social issues.
Also Read: Democracy in Pakistan: Hopes and Hurdles
Rampant corruption in almost every stratum of society in Pakistan is another social evil. Corruption is widespread in every class of society. It leads to illiteracy when students fail to get admission where they deserve it. Moreover, it also leads to unemployment due to a lack of merit and nepotism. Corruption also leads to economic downfall. It also leads to injustice. Moreover, corruption also gives rise to crimes and terrorism when people fail to get their rights.
Lack of Rule of Law
In Pakistan, lawlessness is another social problem. On the lower level, people commonly violate traffic rules i.e. breaking signals. On a higher level, the ‘one country two rules’ principle is observed when influential people even after doing massive corruption on large scale go scot-free, while a poor person gets proper punishment after committing a minor crime. Thus, the lack of across-the-board accountability and lack of rule of law are severely tarnishing the image of Pakistan on the global stage.
Nepotism means; favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. Nepotism falls under the category of corruption. Due to nepotism, deserving people cannot get admissions or jobs. As a result, intelligent and skilled people couldn’t serve the country in various domains. Also, for this reason, Pakistan is lagging behind the world in many fields.
Violence, Terrorism & Extremism
Violence exists in many forms in Pakistan. Most of the women suffer from domestic violence. Moreover, many cases of violence in Madrassahs and schools often surface on social media or in news. On the state level, religious violence and extremism are commonplace examples. Sit-ins at Faizabad interchange Islamabad by TLP and destruction of public properties by some extremist elements is one example of religious violence in Pakistan.
Moreover, Pakistan has remained a target of terrorism since 2001. However, the incidents of terrorism have scaled down considerably.
In Pakistan, gender discrimination has remained a major social issue since independence. Women are mostly sidelined from the educational and economic sector and confined to a domestic sphere with unpaid jobs. Undue restrictions are often placed on girls mostly in rural areas. Women and girls are not allowed to leave the house, thus barring them from jobs. In fact, gender discrimination is a social problem in Pakistan. Pakistani society is predominantly a patriarchal society that places women in an inferior position to men.
Furthermore, there are various other social problems and issues in Pakistan pertaining to women and girls that include early or forced marriages, public harassment, acid attacks, and rape.
Mostly, in rural areas, child marriage at an early age is very common. It leads to excessive childbearing and health deterioration. Moreover, girls remain uneducated which ultimately impacts the upbringing of children.
Moreover, in the urban sphere and cities, girls often face public harassment. Most of the girls are sexually harassed at their workplaces. Many relevant cases have been reported so far in Pakistan.
Apart from these, cases of acid throwing on girls are also increasing day by day. Usually, when a girl rejects a proposal, considering this humiliation, the rejection is often avenged by acid throwing on the face of the girl leaving her disfigured for good and spoiling her future.
Also, rape cases are also rampant in Pakistan. Almost every day we hear such news on television.
Stringent law-making is the need of the hour to curb the issues pertaining to girls and women in Pakistan.
In short, Pakistan is currently beset with multifarious social issues and problems, and the mention of all the problems needs much time and space. However, some major social problems discussed above require a proactive approach and pragmatic measures to deal with. Otherwise, the social issues of Pakistan will keep hampering Pakistani society from making progress.