Women have to face more psychological challenges than men world over, Head of Department of Psychiatry at Aga Khan University Ayesha Mian said on Tuesday.
The psychiatrist who trained abroad for 16 years before moving back to Pakistan five years ago recalled that her mentor in the United States warned her that she’ll have to work three times harder at any job she does.
“One of the reasons he gave for that was that I was a woman,” she said.
“But he asserted that I should never let the challenges hold me back and keep me from excelling,” she said, advising other women to do the same.
Mian stated that women across the world have to face challenges but because Pakistani society is still struggling to accept women, the challenges posed to Pakistani women are different.
Data on Pakistan shows, more women suffer from anxiety and depression than men.
“Interestingly, more married women in Pakistan suffer from anxiety and depression as compared to single women,” Mian said, adding that abroad the numbers of single women battling anxiety and depression are higher as compared to married women.
Regarding the upbringing of young girls, Mian stressed that parents should maintain an equal relationship with their sons and daughters. “From an early age, you should divide household tasks between your children equally,” she said.
“If your daughter sets the table one day, then your son should the next day,” Mian advised.
“There should not be a different set of rules for girls,” she further said.
On teaching young girls to protect themselves, Mian said, “We stress a lot on how girls should safeguard themselves, but I always tell mothers they should spend more time on teaching their sons how to respect women, irrespective of where they are or what they are wearing.”