Learn more about specific causes in Pakistan that you can get involved in.
EnvironmentPakistan’s most pressing environmental concerns are water pollution from sewage and industrial waste, deforestation, soil erosion, and desertification.1
FamilyIn Pakistan, family planning and contraceptives are taboo which makes the birth rate high. Each year, Pakistan adds 4 million babies to its population. The majority of these children are born into poverty.1
Human RightsTerrorist attacks having been steadily decreasing in Pakistan, but terrorist groups and the government regime continue to violate human rights and promote violence. Although freedom of association, assembly, and press are technically legal, these laws are often not followed. Anyone who criticizes the actions or beliefs of militant groups, military intelligence, or security groups could be subject to violent attacks, unfair arrests, expulsion, and harsh jail time. Minority groups also suffer these abuses.1 In addition, law enforcement officials abuse their power and arbitrarily detain people, torture those in custody, or even use extrajudicial execution as punishment all in the name of eliminating terrorism.2 The judicial system is corrupt and fails to prosecute security or military agencies that commit illegal acts or human rights abuses.3 Show Less
EducationPakistan has one of the highest numbers of children out of school in the world, and educational institutions are targeted by terrorist groups to hurt the government, foster intolerance, and drive girls out of school. While the government has made some successful attempts to decrease terrorism in the nation, very little attention has been given to the dire state of education in Pakistan.1 Cultural norms, violence, and poverty prevent girls from attending school at a higher rate than boys, but young advocate and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has become the face of the struggle for education gender equality in Pakistan.2 Government or extremist propaganda are sometimes taught in schools, and unqualified teachers are commonplace because of the history of having a poor Read More education system.3 The literacy rate is only around 58%, and only 45% of adult females are literate.4 Show Less
PovertyIn 2016, the Pakistani government adjusted the poverty line to be more inclusive of poverty indicators like wealth, education, and diet. This new poverty line is considered a better indicator of quality of life in Pakistan as the country has experienced economic growth but still struggles with inequality.1 According to the first government released data using the new poverty line, 40% of Pakistanis live in poverty. The wealth distribution in Pakistan is highly imbalanced. There is a high discrepancy between urban and rural areas with the majority of rural citizens in poverty, while less than 10% of Pakistanis in urban area live in acute poverty.2
ReligionThe state religion is Islam, which about 98% of Pakistanis follow. The small remaining percentage practice Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism. Islamic laws and practices influence all areas of everyday life and the legal system.1 Although religious freedom is guaranteed in the constitution, minority groups experience social exclusion and are more likely to be targeted with violence by extremist groups. In particular, because of the tension between Pakistan and India, Hindus are traditionally portrayed poorly in media across the nation.2
Clean WaterIn Pakistan, there is a severe lack of clean water. It is estimated that 16 million are forced to collect water from unclean sources. Furthermore, over half the population has no infrastructure for sanitation systems. As the population grows and urbanizes, millions of citizens are left without safe water and complete sanitation systems.1
EconomyPakistan’s economy has suffered from decades of low foreign investment, political upheavals, violence, and overall slow economic growth. The economy is not diversified and is highly dependent on textile exportation, which makes it highly susceptible to global market changes.1 The global economy and foreign investors remain very concerned with government transparency, energy security, and overall slow growth.1 While the government has made moderate attempts to open markets and increase entrepreneurship, a poorly functioning regulatory and judicial system and periodic violence prevent the economy from keeping up with other similar nations.2
GovernmentGovernment instability has been present in the country since the partition of Pakistan and India gave them independence. The territory of Kashmir situated between the two countries is still a source of violence and disagreement.1 Pakistan is a parliamentary republic that is largely ruled by Islamic laws. In recent years, a series of coups, military regimes, and corruption scandals have caused the public to lose faith in government stability. Corruption is extremely evident in elections, law enforcement, and the judicial system.2
HealthPakistan’s health system has grown considerably in the past decades, but most programs are under resourced. There is a high risk of communicable and noncommunicable diseases. The country’s fertility rate is very high due to the lack of contraceptives, but the life expectancy is relatively low at just 67 years.1 The medical workforce is understaffed, and many trained health professionals must leave the country to find work. Corruption is present in the healthcare field, and citizens are often forced to pay doctors bribes in order to be admitted into the hospital or receive care.2
ChildrenOver 20% of girls are married before the age of 18 in Pakistan, and this is often due to religious or cultural traditions in exchange for a bride price. However, there have been improvements made to the quantity of young marriages over the years, and there is a push for legislation to change the legal marrying age to 18.1 In addition, Pakistan has made moderately successful advances towards eradicating and reducing the instances of child labor, and 13% of children aged 10-14 are in the workforce.2
AnimalsExcessive hunting practices have severely diminished the animal population in some areas of Pakistan. In the mountainous region however, there are bear, leopard, ibex, sheep, and goats in abundance. National parks and reserves have been established, but many of the once plentiful species have been declared endangered.1
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