Society and Norms: Family and Family Life - Children

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In Pakistan, as all Muslim countries, children are a blessing from Allah and should be cherished and loved. There is great celebration with the birth of a child, especially a male. In rural areas women give birth with the help of a traditional birth attendant called a Dai. Well-to-do women in the cities are more likely to give birth in a hospital. Pakistani parents do everything they can to make a young child's life pleasant. They are affectionate and caring with all children, even if the child is not their own. Initially young girls and boys are allowed to play together, later, around age 7 or 8 they are separated by their respective chores. Girls are expected to stay in the house and help their mother with household chores. Boys are expected to go with their father and help the men in the field or at a business.

In recent years Pakistani children have been disproportionally affected by war and natural disasters. The 2005 earthquake left thousands of children orphaned. Some internally displaced Pakistani children and Afghan children refugees lost their parents in recent conflicts. Children in these situations are easy targets for human trafficking as they rarely have adequate food, healthcare or education.

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