What are Some Common Social Problems in Pakistan?
In Pakistan, one usually has to undergo many limitations; societal, familial, social and psychological. A list of social issues in Pakistan that it has been facing since its inception in 1947 are as follows:
● Child Labor
● Poor Health Infrastructure
● Economic Instability
Fact Alert: Pakistan holds 138th position in terms of literacy rate out of 167 countries – The Legatum Prosperity Index
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan says: ‘The State of Pakistan shall reduce illiteracy and provide compulsory education to all the children free of cost.’ If we see the major social issues in Pakistan, the 2021 report of Human Development says that only 59% of Pakistan’s population is designated as literate. This is a sad state of affairs for a country almost 75 years old.
The reasons for illiteracy, one of the foremost major social problems, could be many; some of them are as follows:
● No awareness regarding the importance of education in the far-fetched areas of Pakistan i.e. Balochistan, KPK, Rural Sindh, Southern Punjab, and FATA.
● Different mediums of instruction and syllabi in public and private education sectors.
● Unaffordable education.
● Non-professional teachers with a minimal amount of training.
● Lack of technical Institutes
● Gender discrimination.
● Low Education Budget
Although the solutions to reduce illiteracy can take much time to finally bear fruit. The government can take certain immediate actions to counter one of the major social problems Pakistan is facing:
● Ensure one medium of instruction and syllabi, Single National Curriculum was launched in 2021.
● Increase the federal and provincial education budget.
● Build new educational and technical institutes.
● To encourage the girls on governmental levels to go to school as females are more than half of the country’s population.
● Train and educate the teachers on the essentials of teaching and handling the children.
In a country where political parties have been ruling on slogans like ‘roti, kapra aur makan’, poverty is one of the common social problems.
Poverty is the state of being deficient in basic needs of everyday life, e.g. Food, Clothes, Shelter, Education etc. It includes social, political and economic elements. It is apt to say that poverty really is the mother of all evils.
Out of every 1000 babies born, 67 die before they get to see their 5th birthday.
Pakistan’s economy fluctuates daily, and the progress of the nation is way too slow. Its 24.3% population lives below the poverty line, according to a report by the Asian Development Bank.
This situation is alarming, and the government needs to speed up working on sustainable development goals.
The reasons for poverty, which is a major social problem in Pakistan currently, are:
● Highest population growth in the world, lack of family planning, unintended pregnancies, malnourished mothers.
● Mostly uneducated populace, lack of education and technical skills
● High rates of unemployment.
● Imbalanced taxes, 80% of the taxes come from the middle classes, while the rich usually do not pay even a dime.
● Gender Inequality.
Although poverty cannot be eradicated at once, many solutions can be provided for limiting this major social problem:
● Access to education for all.
● Economic growth and development.
● Ideas of civic responsibility and tolerance.
● Creation of new jobs; raise in the minimum wages.
● Support of the government for small businesses.
Pakistan is 5th largest youngest country in the world with a 63% young population!
Unemployment is another major social issue in Pakistan, crippling the country’s economy, as a major part of its youth is unemployed. In 2020, the unemployment rate in Pakistan was 4.45% approximately.
In the building of a great nation, it is essential that every person including males, females and youth take part in its establishment and growth. Sadly in Pakistan, this has been completely neglected.
Although Pakistan is an agricultural country, a fair share of its income comes from the services industry e.g. banking, tourism, finance and Information Technology.
These service industries need more and educated people from the villages and rural areas to move to the cities and work their share in the development of the country. But that is not the case to be.
Unemployment, which is rendered to be one of the most problematic social issues, is prevalent due to:
● Lack of quality education.
● Lack of institutes that teach technical skills.
● Lack of opportunities for the youth.
● No investments are being done in new, better projects.
● Limited experience.
● Lack of resources.
Some of the solutions which can be provided:
● Governmental support for the new ideas and businesses by the youth.
● Experience opportunities for fresh graduates.
● Centers for youth to get trained for different technical skills.
● Implementation of law and order
4- Child Labor
All of us have seen these ‘chotus’ sometimes working in a barber shop or a tea stall.
There is no crime more heinous than letting a child, a little human, work to make both ends meet. It is against humanity and ethics, and a vicious cycle of poverty. It is a basic right of every child born to live his childhood carefree, happy and healthy.
In Pakistan, many children are working to support their big families, at the cost of their education and life dreams. They work in restaurants, department stores, workshops, and public transport, and in worst-case scenarios, children beg on the roads and in the streets.
The reasons behind child labour could be traced back to the parents in almost all the cases, who send their children to work due to:
● Large Families; too many mouths to feed and too little earning
● Societal attitudes; uneducated parents, ignorance.
● Lack of awareness.
● Minimum Wages.
● Inability to access basic education.
● Providing quality education to all the children; regardless of background.
● Vocational training and education for skill learning.
● Programs to raise awareness among parents and the general population regarding child labour.
● Supporting the NGOs working for child betterment.
5- Poor Health Infrastructure
The Healthcare system in Pakistan is defined to be one of the most corrupt sectors, according to Transparency International. The doctors treat people like untouchables, especially in public hospitals.
Much of the responsibility falls on the government, for being unable to build new hospitals, and upgrade the existing facilities. Recently, the government has introduced Sehat Insaf Card for all the provinces, which looks promising and a step forward in the access of healthcare to the masses.
● Unavailability of modern technology and machinery in the existing hospitals.
● Lack of new hospital buildings to cater to the needs of an ever-growing population.
● Shortage of trained doctors.
● Refusal of medical graduates to work in rural settings.
● Negative attitudes of doctors; high fees, bribery.
● Effective training of doctors.
● Increase in the health budget.
● Public awareness.
● Procurement of modern technology for the hospitals.
● Corruption control in public healthcare projects.
6- Foreign Debts & Unstable Economy
All of us got hit by the recent price hikes. Be it petrol, electricity or gas the problem is never-ending.
Most of the blame is being put on the government and its inability and helplessness to get out of the shackles of the IMF and World Bank.
Due to this dependency and inability to take bold measures, Pakistan is being burdened every day by huge foreign debts and economic instability; which in turn is creating many, many problems for the country.
According to Dr. Ishrat Hussain, the notable Pakistani Banker and Economist, the major economic challenges faced by Pakistan are poverty, unemployment, huge foreign debts, low investment, and high fiscal debt.
Economic Instability is, without an iota of doubt, one of the major social problems of Pakistan right now.
● Political Instability.
● Energy Crisis.
● Lack of Policy Implementation.
● Continuous Increases in Inflation.
● Security Concerns.
● The huge burden of foreign debts.
● An imbalance between Imports & Exports.
There’s never a quick solution to balance the economy of a big country, with as many people as Pakistan has, but someone has to take responsibility sooner rather than later, starting from the implications of stronger policies.
● Reduction of inflation growth in the country.
● Reducing imports and increasing exports.
● Policies to make the agricultural sector more effective
● Stable interest rates.
● Positive impacts of the exchange rates.
Solving Major Social Problems of Pakistan
No matter which way we slice it, we know that these social problems alongside many others are the bigger hurdles.
These problems are interconnected and are affecting every segment of society. First, we need to recognize the problems. It is an undeniable fact that we need a collaborative approach to resolve these problems.
In conclusion, it is sufficient to say that if Pakistanis, as a nation in its true sense, had worked hard, together, and responsibly Pakistan would have been free of these major social problems. It would have been working towards betterment and prosperity every day. Nevertheless, it’s still not too late.