BLOG SURF: Road less taken

My Pashtun father says that Islam teaches the road to heaven is paved with gold for those who educate their daughters.

He would argue that Islam commands both men and women to be educated and would cite the gender-neutral hadith that says: “Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim.” Despite these shibboleths, both Afghanistan and Pakistan have the widest gender gaps in primary and secondary enrollment in the Asia and Pacific region.

In 2015, the annual Global Gender Gap Index by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum ranked Pakistan at 144 out of 145—the lowest but one and just above Yemen—in global gender equality, the fourth year in a row.

And in 2012 UNDP’s Gender Inequality Index ranked Afghanistan at 147 out of 148, again, just one above Yemen.

The 2016 Women, Business and the Law report shows that both Afghanistan and Pakistan are among the bottom three in having the most legal gender differences.