Family Life in Pakistan: An Essay Our moribund social and family system has caused many problems among our youngsters. If these issues not address now, we would be facing completely dejected society. Today the world is moving fast and to cope with this condition we have also accelerated our pace towards progress. But ironically, this is done the cost of our social and family structure. Being progressive and successful is the best one can have in this world but neglecting our tradition and family system will give raise to such problems that will not be easy to curb.
The growing violence and other dissolute that exist in our society attributed to the lack of understanding as well as communication that prevail among our generations. During the last few years there have been continuous reports that indicate that violence among our youth is growing day by day. Large section of this problem is associated to the budding influence of media and other means of technology. Technology is not being blamed here as it has given us easy means of access to latest developments that has been taking place in the world.
Internet gives us way to talk or gather information from places far off from our own place. Most recent advancements in the field of science provide us with many new inventions that have made our lives comfortable and cozy than ever before. Science has provided us with such new technology that it is not difficult for anyone to look beautiful just in few days. Medical researches have made our life more simple and convenient. Rapid increase of diseases has forced the medical scientists all over the world to bring in new researches that would cure the afflicted humanity.
But along with all these developments, there are problems that one witness in today’s society. There are always two ways of using knowledge, either good or bad. What we are witnessing these days is the perilous and unconstructive use of technology. The more easily the access to different knowledge has been made, the more problems have raised their heads. Mostly, parents show concerns that their children have no time for them. They are busy with their friends and when free they have other commitments like chatting on internet and surfing different websites. There is less time that a family spends together.
Fast moving world has changed the priorities among the family members. This has destroyed the family system and created a huge generational gap. Our family system previously was strong and children in the family learn from their elders. Now, the major excuse is shortage of time. Parents have no such knowledge about advancing technology and children of this age took great advantage form it. Their ignorance leads to their children ruining. Parents should overcome this problem by taking interest in the matters of their children. They can communicate with their children on their problems and give advices to them.
Influence of joint family system on socio-economic development of Pakistan The development of any country depends on the role of individuals living in the society. If the individuals play their role actively and positively then their will be growth and if there will be growth their will be equal and proper division of resources within the individuals of society. This ultimately gives a peaceful environment. But the question arises how these individuals behave in a responsible way that it turns the nation’s luck? For this it is important to understand that from where these individuals come from?
What was the environment and atmosphere of the place where they groomed up? What they learn in the beginning of their minds development through their environment? In case of Pakistan, it is an urgent requirement to study and understand the origin and upraising systems of individuals as Pakistan is facing lot of problems, crisis and unpleasant situations from last six decades. Pakistan’s society have drawbacks at all levels hence it is important to catch the roots of such problems. Fortunately now Pakistan has independent media and judiciary which both play a vital role in improving the upper social and political setup of Pakistan.
But there is also a need to understand the problems at bottom line social groups which mostly includes middle and lower income class families. The behaviors and attitude of these two classes also underpin and create lot of hindrances in the developmental process of Pakistan. There is a lack of tolerance, lack of compromising attitude, lack of responsible nature, lack of impartial behaviors in the individuals of these classes. This type of behaviors and attitude of individuals generate and developed in their early grooming stages through their families.
In Pakistan mostly there is a joint family system in which there are grand parents, uncles, aunties and lot of cousins. Although this family system is undergoing a radical change with a greater influence of media and education but people of Pakistan do not feel this change a good one. Because while living in a joint family system a lot of emotional attachments enhanced and they feel that by separating in neutral family system their relations will damaged and family ties will be weakened. Lot of research work has been done in this regard in Pakistan.
Researchers highlighted various issues at household level which create disturbance and unrest in the society. Joint family system is basically a form of organization. In this organization there are defined norms and values to follow strictly by all the members. All the members have their defined tasks and responsibilities to perform. There is equal share of each and every member of the family in the available resources in the form of money, food and other requirements. If all the requirements and regulation of this organization fulfill impartially then it is the most successful system but unfortunately this not happens.
Definitely it is impossible for any human being to stuck with defined strict norms and values even in his/her own home where he/she wants to take rest and live freely according to his own will after completion of his/her office duties which are in current era are as much tough and busy. This living style of joint families effects badly the socio-economic development of Pakistan by increasing poverty in various ways. In a joint family systems now lot of crisis emerge on the issues like distribution of household tasks, allocation of financial responsibilities among different members, division of resources in the form of food and money.
There are various reasons of each emerging issue in joint family system. Firstly; members of joint families have no income security. As if a person has surety that whatever he earned it is his own then he could become ready to invest and entrepreneurs for the economy of the country through proper savings. Economically and financially independent individuals could work more confidently for the development of the country which not only could minimize poverty but also gloom up the economy of the country.
On the other hand while living in a joint family system an individual could not save regularly from his earnings and hence could not confidently participate in the investment process of the country. Because he know that whatever he earned it will be added in the joint fund of whole family for family expenditures from where those members of family also benefit who are able to earn for them but become lazy due to such financial support from family. Huge amount of our youth become irresponsible and lazy and also adopt extravagance activities only due to this joint family system.
As they do not have to face difficulties of managing home financially and they do not have any heavy responsibilities on their shoulders so they do not become responsible in all walks of life. Secondly improper division of financial responsibilities arises lots of financial issues in joint family system. They mostly emerge because at some times newly married couple does not want to share their earnings in the whole family expenditures, they want to spend their income independently. On the other hand they are part of a joint family system they eat from the earnings of other and do not share their own.
In most of the homes the most elder guardian of the family ( may be a grand father or most elder brother) is responsible for all sorts of expenditures of the home which includes all sorts of bills, monthly fuel consumption expenditures and monthly food consumption items in addition also responsible for educational expenditures of various children in the home. In this way a burden crossed the limits on one individual of the home. Therefore after retirement or expiry of such a huge supporting guardian then whole family split in neutral families as a result of lot of disputes.
That’s why now various families prefer to settle in neutral families before such a bad end. Thirdly; division of household tasks or we can say division of labour within home also increasing disputes and argues and they mostly emerge between women of the family. Because most of domestic tasks performed by females of the family. In eastern families mostly daughters in a law (wives of sons) are responsible for all work. Sometimes disputes occur between these daughters in law on the division of household tasks that is cleaning, washing, cooking, and dealing with children, husbands and parents in law.
Most of the families in Pakistan and India do not like to involve their unmarried daughters in household tasks and therefore these girls also become burden on daughters in law of that family. In addition such girls become lazy and irresponsible and when these girls become married themselves they become unable to tackle with various responsibilities immediately after marriage. Also daughters in law feel this very injustice and partial behaviors of the in laws and then it creates psychological dissatisfaction in the daughters in law which ultimately affects badly her children and husband.
At various time married girls stir up to demand for separate home to live happy and independent with her children and husband and her this demand impacts the whole family badly and the crack occur due to such. Therefore now various families prefer to leave newly married couples independent before occurrences of such dispute in the family. And it looks more effective and good to minimize family conflicts and dispute and to make everyone responsible. Joint family system also creates problems in children rearing.
As among various loving relations mostly it becomes impossible for parents to prohibit their children from various bad habits, improper attitude and wrong behaviors. Loving relations like uncles, aunties and grand parents do not like to prevent children strictly. They do not like to chide or rebuke their young grand children and hence they bring up in a wrong support of their loving relations which impacts their whole life badly and therefore they do the same wrong deeds in their mature life and hinder their own career and give loss to the country’s economy also.
When little boys and girls groomed up in such an environment where there are people who support them for wrong deeds then become irresponsible individuals of the country who contribute to prevent developmental process. As these boys and girls also supported financially even after they completed their education careers and often at sometimes after they get married so they do not bother to work hard to overcome all their needs themselves also they can not decide well for their future life they are not mentally independent to put forward any step they are strictly dependent and are not able to decide according to the time.
In this family system young boys and girls become too much emotionally attached with their families and they become unable to live without their parents and family away from home to work more in the current era of competitiveness. They mostly prefer to do jobs at low salary packages and less competitive environment in their own villages and areas to remain attached with the family. In this way there is a lack of passion for higher education and seeking advanced skills as they mostly available at big cities or abroad.
Most of population of Pakistan prefers joint family system just because of their parents. This is because of Islamic teachings about serving parents in their old age with full responsibility and love. In case of nuclear family system the problem occurs for adjustments of old aged parents. In west this problem solved by making old houses but Pakistan cannot adopt this policy as it is against its religious teaching. Hence old aged parent’s rights should preserve within Islamic boundaries.
Various joint families though that if they split in neutral families then any one of us have to take full responsibility of parents which at sometimes any single couple feels burden. But in various families a new system adopted that all brothers split in neutral families and parents live with that couple which they prefer themselves to live with permanently and visit homes of other sons frequently according to their will this system suits the parents too much and it is the true Islamic system.
Otherwise in a joint family system sometimes parents feel insulting when they get expired to give more for family expenditures. As after the end of his financial contribution his participation in family decision also effected badly. There occurs a shift in power within the joint family system which disturbed the old aged parents too much. But in case of neutral family system all are independent in their own decisions so there is no shift in power happens.
Also when the families separated in neutral family system then they become financially independent and at most time in such a system they attract their old aged parents towards them which make the parents also happy as they feel their importance within their children. Joint family system is successful in rich class of Pakistan but the boys and girls groomed out such family system are not economically fit for the country as they are highly pampered by their elders. Whereas in middle class families this system is going to be failed and a large change is happening now.
And in case of lower class families this system is increasing more and more poverty due to its lots of drawbacks and shortcomings discussed earlier. I have gone through various articles regarding joint family system and while writing some of the authors relate neutral family system to western family system. Whereas neutral family system is a true Islamic system in which wife is responsible for taking care of his husband and children first and then parents in law if they are disable.
It is not fair in our society to make a newly married girl responsible to take care of even young brothers and sisters of her husband. Being an Islamic country, people of Pakistan prefer to adopt Islamic systems in their life styles so it is important to inform Pakistani people that joint family system is strictly prohibited in Islam. It does not like mix living of girls and boys in a form of family. There are limitations by Islam to control unlawful intimate relations. Some families in Pakistan are use to live in Joint family system but trying to follow this religious tradition in rong way. This creates a lot of problems in women’s life. Even in strict Islamic joint families (which are against to Islam) mostly males bound their females to their rooms only. They do not allow them to move freely in the home even in the loans of the home. In this way females are bearing too much problems in living freely. Therefore it is more effective to live in neutral family system to have obscure living style. It is really looking awful that a newly married young girl often have to take care of all sorts of clothes and other personals of young brother in law also.
Which is totally wrong and unislamic tradition, even a son can not force to his wife for take caring of his parents. Holy book, Al-Quran explains women duties towards husband in following verses; “O Mankind, keep your duty to your lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate (of same kind) and from the twain has spread a multitude of men and women” (Quran 4:1). Again it is narrated in Quran “He it is who created you from a single soul and made there from its mate, so that you might comfort in each other” (7:190).
These two verses of Quran clearly show that to each male Allah has created her mate and she is responsible only for her husband not for the whole family. Sometimes the age of brother in law is nearly equal or little less or more than the new bride and her responsibilities towards him often create misunderstandings in the couple. As on one hand new bride is responsible for all the family members in a joint family system but on the other hand loose talk with young brother in laws may create problems in her life with husband.
When Islam is not allowing for co-education system, where male and female can take education in one place, then how can Islam allow for joint family system? In west now separate education institutes for girls and boys are preferred and establishing now, it is also basically an Islamic norm just like neutral family system. While considering all above discussed problems we can conclude that joint family system increasing poverty in Pakistan by influencing directly or indirectly. This system exists in Pakistani areas before independence.
Some of the experts relate this system as a heritage of Sub-continent. It is good to preserve patrimony but if any tradition cause problem and becoming unfit then it is certain to change it according to needs. Joint family system hinders various tracks towards development. It prevent the individuals to decide radically according to present competitive world, it abolish the women rights, it creates problems in preparing generation for the upcoming needs of the country, and its increases unrest and dissatisfaction of persons which disable them psychologically.
Various developmental activities also hampered due to this system. In 1983 a workshop conducted on a Methods of Measuring Intra-household Resource Allocation, funded by UNAID. In this workshop understanding intra-household issues, dynamics and related constraints make compulsory in order to achieve maximum positive outputs of developmental projects implemented in developing countries. Before implementing any project especially related to provision of micro credits or other income related projects, it is important and most effective to understand the family system of the particular locality.
The project implementers should know that what are priorities of target families, how they allocate and distribute resources, goods and responsibilities and what are their consumption patterns among the members of their family. These intra-household variables are directly related to the overall social setup therefore if any organization tried to understand and improve intra-household issues at government level then it could inculcate and assist development projects to achieve maximum output.
Government should put forward policies related to family systems so that people could be bounded to take care of rights of all family members equally. It should declare some packages for old aged parents and also for widows to make them economically strong and independent. Although government and banks of Pakistan have announced various financially supporting packages but unaware and rural population of Pakistan failed to understand the official process to access such facilities. Government should spread mobilizing teams to make them aware of these facilities.
In addition such facilities are mostly difficult to avail due to attached conditions and constraints and also due to requirement of submitting huge amount of money at initial stage. In Pakistan lot of work have been started to eradicate poverty, mostly includes provision of education and skills, through both government and non-government organization. But on one hand to avail educational opportunities again there is a need of money as there is not provision of totally free education. People have to buy books, uniform and stationary also. Also there are transport expenditures to overcome. Hence there is a ire need to wipe deep social constraints in the society which also includes reducing trend of joint family system. It is important to provide financial security to old aged parents and pressurizing people legally to take responsibility of their parents according to their will and pleasure. Widows should especially offer for jobs to make them financially independent to overcome their personal expenditures including her children. Any person could decide well for his/her future if he/she is totally independent in terms of finance, decisions related to expenditures priorities and about children’s future.
If the financial and physical labour responsibilities at home divided equally in each family member through a neutral family system then it could enhance responsible attitude of individual towards society. Neutral family system could minimize pressure on women as number of males over her will be reduced, then she can decide about her life and career without any pressure. Neutral family system minimizes the number of argues by decreasing number of family members. This system empowers the persons more then in joint family system to think well and decide well.
In neutral family system parents could give more time to their children and children will also find more time to share their worries and decisions. Little bit shortcomings of neutral family system could be overcome by adopting by effective policy measures that have suggested earlier related to old aged parents and widows. As neutral family system minimizes lots of social constraints that prevent the individuals to perform actively and passively towards development therefore it could contributes to lessen poverty directly or indirectly.