If I should practise . . .
- By: Sameera Rashid
I live in Pakistan where 70% of the women choose not to work outside the home. Most of them become housewives. It might seem more desirable to stay at home, raise a family, and adopt a traditional lifestyle.
In my country the value of a housewife is never underestimated. Women are seen as devoted mothers, wives, and as the powerhouses behind men’s success. Working women can be gossiped about and labelled as “busy, selfish, and inattentive to their children.”
Women make up only 14% of those in the work force in Pakistan. The average rate of annual growth in women’s participation in the labour force has been increasing slightly—it was 4% between 1980 and 1999 and went up to 5.1% between 1995 and 1998. However, the percentage of women working is still low compared with that in the other South Asian countries. In Bangladesh women make up 42% of the