Sahil Adeem comments spark debate on female illiteracy in Pakistan

7 min read
Sahil Adeem's comments spark debate on female illiteracy in Pakistan

A video went viral of Sahil Adeem claiming 95% of women illiterate who appeared in Samaa

Digital show Makalma with Khalilur Rehman Qamar hosted by Ayesha Jahanzeb.

In the show, he said, “Take a sample of 100 women, 95 out of them will be ignorant not knowing anything. This is reality”. While answering a question he also said, “This has to be remembered, take a sample of 100 people from Pakistan and conduct a basic knowledge test, 25 men out of the 100 will be ignorant, 50 will be 50-50 and 25 will be eloquent.”

After this, in the question-answer session of the show, a girl named Azba asked him to apologize to all women of Pakistan. She said, “If you have uttered the word Jahil for girls, you should apologize or give me the proof where the Quran says to use the word Jahil for those who don’t know certain things”.

Adeem referenced a hadith and mockingly called her “Ignorant”. On which the girl urged him to keep on the subject and apologize. She also asked him not to reference any Arabic word or verse to move out of the topic. The conversation heated when Khalilur Rehman addressed the woman aggressively and condemned her attitude toward Arabic verses.


Most people are aware of this situation but let’s move to some facts and figures. The Economic Survey revealed the illiteracy rate for women in the country to be 48.1%, while for men it is 26.6%.

Now we need to focus on why the literacy rate of women is lower than men. Azba also called Pakistan a male-dominated society. Let’s see if Pakistan is a male-dominated society. And is the literacy rate of women affected by this patriarchal society?

In Islam men and women are created equal but in their personas. Males are assigned with economic responsibility and females are assigned with the responsibility of home and children. But this doesn’t mean that women are bound to homes. Women have full access to education and they also take part in financial stability. If we look at the history of Islam Hazrat Khadija, the first wife of Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) was a trader. If we move further, you must have seen the role of women in Turkish historical dramas like Ertugral Ghazi, Usman, Salahudin, etc. Women not only fought in wars but they worked hard in making different products which were further carried to the market for trade.

But our society has restricted women to home only especially in rural areas. Women are only bound to household chores and taking care of children. They are not allowed to take their education, even most females are not even allowed to get an education. Some girls get education up to primary level but some of them are not even allowed to get this much education. Our society has not just done injustice to women but also to men. Men are alone loaded with the financial stability of the home in this day-by-day increasing inflation. 34% men of in Pakistan are suffering from mental health issues.

Pakistan is a patriarchal society and there are many reasons which can prove it. According to research women empowerment is 46% affected due to male dominancy and 16% due to the misuse of religious knowledge. Daughters are behaved strictly and not given much preference, especially by the fathers. Daughters and wives are not included in decisions related to family matters. Cultural and social norms enable husbands to treat unfairly to their wives and daughters unfairly. Females also face a lot of difficulty because of in-laws and husbands while pursuing their jobs.

Women’s education and women’s empowerment are those pillars which decide the development of the society. No society can grow without excelling of its women. A society like Pakistan is dominated by men and women are kept away from their rights. In the era of social media these misogynist men spread negativity and a specific group supports them too. These people are the real issue of the society.

Also read: PDMA unveiles Monsoon Contingency Plan

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