Pakistan is a democratic parliamentary federal republic with Islam as the state religion. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country. Pakistan's post-independence history has been characterised by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with neighbouring India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including a large population, poverty, illiteracy, terrorism and corruption. Pakistan hosts more refugees than any other country in the world.
Women are represented in government as ministers in Parliament and ambassadors. Benazir Bhutto was the first female prime minister and served from 1988 to 1990. Women judges have been appointed to four high courts as well as several lower courts. Business activities and all professions are open to them.
There are growing numbers of violent crimes against or involving women and the government has introduced the concept of women police stations in some areas. A number of computer training centres have been established for women and the government has opened "women development centres" that specialize in training community development workers in family planning, hygiene, sanitation, adult literacy, community organization, and legal rights.
Following urgent requests from Bishop Bertrand Boland of the Diocese of Multan, in 1975 four Sisters of the Good Shepherd from Sri Lanka were missioned to Pakistan.
Early in 1976 the first Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Pakistan was officially opened at Fatimapur- a poor village in the diocese of Multan. In 1982 a new foundation was established in Karachi. Then, Lahore in 1993 and Quetta in 2006.
The ministry of the sisters includes:
Home for single mothers and girls.
Pastoral support for women.
Crisis intervention centre for girls and women.
Child development centre for the girl child - especially for the poor in Multan.
Faith Formation and Skill training for boys and girls of a colony in Waris Road; whose parents are working as unskilled labourers in a Government hospital.
Networking with Justice & Peace commission.
Visiting the small Christian communities on the Afghan Border.
Giving accommodation to young women pursuing higher education.
Pre-Cana Programme for engaged couples.
Providing basic education and faith formation for disadvantaged children.
Working with women’s groups.
Guidance and counselling and medical assistance for families, young girls and pregnant mothers.
Theological reflections with the girls in the Beauty Parlours in one area of Karachi.