Boys watching TV outside
Boys speak out on girls’ rights

Many boys in Pakistan want life to change for girls, and try to stand up for their rights. But some think things should stay the same as before.

Start talking about it in school
“Everyone should have the same rights – like the right to go to school and the right to play. That’s not how things are. It’s particularly unfair for girls. They are not allowed to play outdoors in our society. It’s hard to change that. Parents are not always well-educated, and their parents have taught them that girls should not go out. That means there is not much protection for girls in our society. Girls who go out are treated badly on the street. I think that is wrong. We must have the same respect for everyone. Society can change that. It’s important to start talking about it in school. We don’t do that at the moment.”
Nazar Abbas, 15

Portraits of three boys, Haseed, Ali and Baber.

Haseed, Ali and Baber from Pakistan share their thoughts on girls’ rights.

Vote for equal rights for girls
“Boys and girls have different lives in Pakistan. I think we should have the same rights. That’s not how things are right now, and it may be very hard to change that. To change the injustices in our society we have to talk about it and then we can vote on it. We have to vote for good leaders who work to stop injustice in our society.”
Baber, 12

Hard to change
“There should be no difference between boys’ and girls’ rights. The difference is purda, which means that girls have to cover themselves. If a girl cannot openly get an education, she could cover herself when she is out and that way she can study and go wherever she wants. Girls should be with other girls. We have different rules in our society. If a brother decides that his sister should stay at home and not go out, she has to stay at home. It’s hard to change that.”
Wahab Gul, 16

Should be equal, but ...
“In my area we have the same rights. We have the same education system and we get the same education. We should be equal, but sometimes we are not. We have to obey our parents. Our parents don’t treat us equally. We have different rules. I think that is good, because in our culture, women run into problems when they are out.”
Sajjad, 10

Parents think in an old-fashioned way
“Girls aren’t given the same rights as boys. Parents don’t treat boys and girls equally. Our parents think in an old-fashioned way and we have to obey them. Boys can’t do housework, girl can’t go out when and how they want to. I know that Pakistan has a female cricket team, but my sister could never join it because my family wouldn’t approve.”
Umer Altaf, 15

Things should stay as they 
always have been
“Both boys and girls should work and have responsibility in our society. In my village, girls work more at home and boys work more at the brick kiln. They do different things. Maybe that should change, but I think things should stay as they always has been. I think that is for the best.”
Wakas, 11

"I think girls should have the same rights, but my parents do not permit that.”

Should have the same rules and rights
“Girls and boys should have the same right to education and the same rules at home and in school. If all girls are to get an education we need more female teachers. They cannot have male teachers. Where we live, girls can’t go out if they are not covered. Otherwise they will be mistreated on the street. If I had power I would give girls special areas where they are protected. I think girls should have the same rights, but my parents do not permit that.”
Shakeel, 17

We young 
people must talk 
to families
“Boys and girls have the same right to education, that is their parents’ responsibility. We young people must also take responsibility, we must talk to families who do not agree with that. We must set a good example, so that parents who refuse to respect their daughters’ rights, particularly their right to education, feel ashamed. Girls can do everything boys can do, like play cricket, but they can’t do it openly on the street, because then they will be mistreated.”
Ubaid Ullah, 13

Better if equal
“Boys and girls don’t have the same rights here. Boys are allowed to go out and do different things. Girls are not. I think teachers and parents should think about that. It would be better if we were equals.”
Haseeb, 12

Portraits of Sajjad, Nazar and Waksaa

Sajjad, Nazar and Wakas talk about how they think girls should be treated.

Must have 
equal rights
“Boys and girls have the same rights. That applies to education, and it applies to inheritance. If girls’ rights are not respected, people who live in their area should talk to the parents. Young people and older people can share that responsibility. Girls’ can’t go out like boys do, or they may be ill-treated. We have to find opportunities for them to do what boys are able to do, like playing cricket. They could play at school. They must have equal rights.”
Qadeer, 14

Work together for girls’ rights
“Girls should have the same rights as boys, but they don’t. A good government could probably change that. The most important thing is for everyone to be allowed to go to school, girls and boys alike. They should have the same rights at home as well, but for that to happen schools and homes would have to cooperate more.”
Ali Usama, 15


 
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