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Women in Slums – A Human Rights Issue

A Pakistani woman carries water pots make way for her home at a slum area © Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

A Pakistani woman carries water pots make way for her home at a slum area © Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

We keep on discussing issues like domestic violence, sexual harassment, unemployment etc. and thinking that these issues are severely affecting women. But there are many other grave issues which are damaging women’s lives all around the globe. Some of these issues are lack of food, lack of health facilities and poverty. And women living in slum areas are at the worst hit by these factors.

© Roheena Sajid

© Roheena Sajid

Lack of food is an issue of major concern. Due to the lack of food, millions and millions of women are being adversely influenced around the globe. There are a very small percentage of women who is taking a balanced food, and is having a healthy body.

A few days ago I visited the slum area to see the living patterns of the women in slums.

What I saw there, I had never seen before.

Some of the women living in that area are terribly tiny and unbelievably weak. I decided to find out the root cause of the problem. When I visited the area, I found some horrible facts. Here, I am going to share, some of my findings with my readers.

As it is a slum, people living in the area do not have sufficient financial resources to support their families in a decent way. Most of the residents are garbage collectors and are living from hand to mouth. As not enough food is available for the entire family, women of almost each household were the least able to eat well. Consistent hunger and inadequate food have brought them many physical and psychological problems. Malnutrition had severely affected especially women’s physical growth.

© Roheena Sajid

© Roheena Sajid

Social inequalities have worsened the women’s situation in the area. And in spite of suffering from malnutrition and other physical and psychological problem, married women were bearing children constantly. And they were not provided with proper food even during their pregnancies. This causes maternal deaths, stillbirths and deaths of infant during the first week of life.

More than half of children’s deaths that occur in the developing countries are due to malnutrition. And due to the deaths of new born and infants, mothers suffer from depression and anxiety disorders in the long run.

On the markets of that area the situation is even worse. Fruits and vegetables which were discarded by the market in the elite-class residential areas were brought here for sale on cheap rates. The consumption of such unhealthy food is bringing more disease to the population living in that area.

Health facilities in the area are unbelievable poor. I visited some of the clinic in the vicinity. Most of the clinics were run by quacks. These so-called doctors do not have any degree in medicine and have been practicing since years ago. Such substandard health facilities are fatal for the people living in such area.

© Roheena Sajid

© Roheena Sajid

In spite of these conditions the government comes up with very poor development strategies. It is spending billions and billions of rupees on roads and other infrastructures rather than spending on living environment, health and education, which could help to improve the living conditions of common people.

This situation is not limited to Pakistan only but the situation is very similar throughout the developing world, and their respective governments are making the same mistake while making their policies.

Political leaders should not forget people living in such slums while making their policies. They should keep their eyes on their issues and concerns. And they should try to bring this underprivileged population closer to the mainstream. They can be helpful and productive like other citizens. And on top of that their human rights should not be compromised at any cost.

Author: Roheena Sajid

Editor: Marjory Linardy



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21.06.2016 | 15:16