Gender Inequality in the Education Sector of Pakistan



Education is considered to be the most valuable possession for every human being today. Gender inequality is more pronounced in Pakistan. Women are disadvantaged with respect to the outcomes of schooling. My literature review incorporates all the questions regarding sex differences and I have mainly focus on the issues that are central to the questions of gender inequality in educational sector. Research remains focused on secondary information. Literature review consists of 10 articles as follow.

The introduction to this article (the status of women in Pakistan, 1988) written by HAQ, attempts to state that women constitute the majority about 52% of the world’s population, yet many societies discriminate them and Pakistan is one of those. The article mainly discuses that women in the rural areas are made to work as long as 14 to 16 hours without payments. Their status is mainly based on local custom rather than QURANIC verses. In a traditional society women occupy really low status. There is a history of female in the subcontinent that women are expected to function within their frame work before marriage they had to obey their fathers and brothers and after marriage their husbands. Most of the women live in the state of withdrawal deprived of their identity and this is because of the lack of education and Pakistani women are denied due to social prestige and economic activity. The variables that are extracted from this article are local custom and lack of awareness. The author define these variables in such a manner that he focuses on reducing gender disparity, should be the priority of the society and this gender disparity can be reduced by eliminating the traditional practices that are held in a society for example women should have equal participation in the decision making and increase women knowledge on family planning as the article states that average number of live birth is 5.8, maternal mortality is very high at an estimated 500 out of 100,000 births. The article discusses the status of women in Pakistan and due to gender discrimination how they are lacking in education. Educated and independent women are more enthusiastic towards life and are capable of understanding modernized changes rather than illiterate under nutritive dependant women .furthermore the article discuses that gender discrimination is mainly because of the traditional customs they are following especially in the villages.

Hypothesis: the status of women in Pakistan should be enhanced or not

This article gender inequality in education written by Nelly P.Stromquist in 1990 focuses on women’s access to education, both in terms of the decrease in the rate of literacy and in years of schooling attained, the article says that there has been improvement over time. Compared to their mothers and grandmothers, women today have more education than ever before. The enrollment of women in primary and secondary school has improved in the last 30 years, and women have registered a slightly greater rate of growth, as women have increased their average years of schooling. Despite all these fact, women still continue to face lower levels of education than men. Women in the third world countries are considered to be feminine and weak in terms of reward and social prestige. The author states that there are still a sizable number of countries that do not collect statistics by sex, particularly at higher levels of education, indicating thereby that they do not consider the improvement of women’s education a priority. The rate or level of women participation in educational sector reveals that it is the women from low-income groups and low status, ethnic affiliation who register the lowest levels of education. Above stated are the variables that were extracted from the article: low income group, low ethnic affiliation, rate of dropping out. The author defines the variables in a way he says that most of the gender disparity which is observed across the societies is a result of class difference that fully explains why the gender disparity exists and persists. Furthermore the article discuses that there have been few studies that specifically distinguish inequalities due to gender from those due to class or race. A study by Rosemberg (1985) showed that the discrimination by income was more pronounced than the discrimination by race. There is a difference in the education of different social classes. The particular article is relevant to the topic in such a way it states that the schooling of daughter is not deemed worthwhile in front of the schooling of a son. And another major reason of women lacking in education is of high dropout rates of girls in primary and secondary schools. And this is mainly because of early marriages. Insufficient places in secondary school, co education cost of education and low quality of education of girls. Many of the studies in this category do not ask why it is that women’s education is considered less important than that of men or why it is that the education of women is so pervasively linked by social norms to their role as wives and mothers. The methodology that was used in the article was viewing different theories about social inequalities in education, are those that are derived from either the functionalist (or consensual) or the conflict (or neo-Marxist) approaches.

Hypothesis: is women education considered less important than men

The article class and gender in education-employment linkage written by Hanna Papanek focuses on the impact of global economic and political changes on low income nations. Poor families that depend entirely on returns to labor in order to survive are most likely to require participation in wage labor (or labor exchange arrangements) by all household members, including men, women, and children. Under these circumstances, educational participation becomes very difficult for both male and female, but because males generally have a wider range of earning opportunities, they are more likely preferred than females to be allowed to attend school. On the other hand at class and income levels where families are less dependent on female wage labor, women’s education is preferred little bit. Family status has a direct bearing on access to economic and political resources that enhances education facility in women. Another factor that is discussed in this article is the family honor and these are the variables extracted from this article INCOME in terms of FAMILY STATUS. The author defines the variables in such a way that differences among classes are signaled by the extent of control over women which is family honor. In some cases girls may not be permitted to attend middle schools located outside the village because it would injure family honor and compromise marriage over it. In other cases, the attainment of secondary or tertiary education may confer so much prestige on the family that the possible status loss associated with daughters living away from home is offset. Marriage chances may also be enhanced when a daughter is sufficiently educated that she can just read and write her name and which can make her earn minimal amount of living. In Egypt as it is a highly stratified society, formal education for both men and women has long been associated with class and status. Higher education, in particular, has played an important role in the “reproduction of the bourgeoisie,” although not always in the predicted fashion. In Egypt, not all illiterate women can be presumed to be from poor families; at least some proportion of this group, especially among older women, comes from families that do not permit women contact with the outside world. The overwhelming majority of illiterate or barely literate women, however, are from poor families. The article is base from a comparative regional study in Asia that is now under way’ and from research in a nearby country (Egypt) that is similar in many respects to the countries included in the regional study. Many of the nations in the ongoing study have large Muslim populations (Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Malaysia) etc. concluding the article female educational participation, especially at higher levels, is a consequence of higher family status rather than a means to upward mobility.

Hypothesis: do females have less access to both schooling and employment than males do.

This article Muslims, markets, and the meaning of a “good” education in Pakistan was written by Mattew J. Nelson in (October, 2006) examines the nature of local educational demands in Pakistan and show that parents favor religious education usually for girls. Girls’ access to education in Pakistan has been restricted. Despite improvements in the last 20 years, underlying factors still make the state education system inefficient and the current male to female literacy ratio is still at 65:40. And this is mainly because people wrongly assume that our religion don’t permit girls for normal education. Girls are usually preferred to go to maddrasas which most of the parents in rural areas think is a better and accessible option and more convenient option for them. Furthermore the article describes the market and the meaning of good education in Pakistan. Families of middle class who can afford primary education of girls still prefer sending their girls to religious schools which cost them very little and prefer their boys to enjoy all the privilege of higher education because they think that it is in our religion that girls are suppose to stay at home. The variable that was identified from this article is religion (Islam). The author defines the variable in such a way that he himself carried a survey and a Questionnaire in which two type of people were questioned one for whom the local madrasa (Islamic religious school) was most important Secondly parents were selected from a variety of economic circumstance. However the outcome was that out of 112 respondents 91 were in the favor of madras for girls. The article is relevant to the topic in a way that it discusses about the

how the choice of religious education for girls is forming a disparity in educational sector of Pakistan. The article mainly discuses the, substantive features of local educational demand and religious demand

Hypothesis: is demand in favor of religious education rather than local

The article Girls Are… Boys Are: Myths, Stereotypes & Gender Differences written by Patricia B. Campbell, Ph.D.Jennifer N. Storo in 2006 mainly discuses, how much the gender counts in education the author of this article states that Sex is not a good predictor of academic skills, interests or even emotional characteristics. The author discusses about the different myths that are related to girls for example biologically girls cannot handle the stress of higher education. Due to these myths parents have lower expectations from girls and they become gender biased and the variable that was extracted from this article was MYTHS AND STEREOTYPES. Now author further more discuses why myths persist based on gender and race. The history of myths will explain how author has defined the variable it is a common belief that men are principal producers and bread earners of the family so they should enjoy all the privileges and this is a primary reason why their education was considered more important than girls. And it was considered that women are property of husband and her only job is to produce children. Furthermore many of the people use to believe and still many of them do is that women reproductive capacity will destroy if her intellect is going to improve. Which in other words mean that women with better education will not listen to men. For example it was concluded that women in their menstrual cycle if uses their brain lose their mammary functions. This particular article is relevant to the topic in such a way as many of these myths are still believed and practiced in Pakistan when it comes to education specifically. This was both quantitive and qualitative form of research in which graphs, charts and theories were used to measure different type of myths

Hypothesis: Is there a biological bias for sex differences

The article The Impact of Gender Inequality in Education on Rural Poverty in Pakistan written by Imran shareef chaudray and Saeed ur rahman in 2009. The main purpose of this article was to identify the gender inequality in education on rural poverty in Pakistan. The article basically discuses that gender inequality in education persists in almost all the poor countries and Pakistan is one of those. Strong gender disparities exist in the rural and urban areas of Pakistan. Pakistan is one of those societies in which women suffer all sort of discriminations. There are countless issues of education in Pakistan including low level of investment, cultural constraints, poverty, gender and regional inequalities in budgetary allocation to education, low enrollment rates due to poor condition of public schools, high population growth producing more illiterates and poor, lack of implementation of educational policies. Violence against women, class discrimination, poverty, lack of educational facilities, and various parallel education systems in government and private education are the major emerging issues which should be dealt with curriculum reforms and effective educational policies. Above mentioned are all the variables extracted from this article but the major variable that I highlighted is POVERTY. Logit regression analysis on primary data was used to reach the conclusion. However it was concluded that poverty has adverse effects on gender disparity in education.

Hypothesis: effect of poverty on education

This article DOCUMENT TO DEBATE AND FINALIZE THE NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY written by JAVED HASAN ALY in December 2006 is intended to stimulate discussion of major policy issues concerning Education Sector in Pakistan. The educational status of women in Pakistan is unacceptably low, in fact, amongst the lowest in the world. Development, only 19% of females have attained education upto Matric, 8% upto Intermediate, 5% Bachelor’s degree and 1.4% achieved a Master’s degree. 60% of the female adult population is illiterate. Of the 3.3 million out of school children, 2.503 million are girls. 73.6% of primary age girls attend school, compared with 92.1% of boys. Although education has been seen to add value to a female worker but in Pakistan for female education is considered as a abuse. Different policies have been recommended to eliminate this gender gap in education but the fund allocation and human resources that were provided by the government to implement the policies. So the variables that were extracted from this article are Low level of financial allocation and inefficient utilization of resources. The author describes the variable in such a way that since 1947 the emphasis on girls education is laid down and many policies and reforms have been made to practice it but due to lack of financial resources Pakistan is still facing gender discrimination in education. The article on whole is relevant to the topic because it is discussing the policies and their effect on educational sector of Pakistan

The particular article THE FUTURE OF GIRLS’ EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN written by Dr. Humala Shaheen Khalid & Dr. Eshya Mujahid-Mukhtar: August 2002 discuses that although most children do get admitted to primary schools, but the major problem is their retention in primary classes. Given the poverty, high opportunity costs of children attending school (as sometimes they are required to contribute to the family’s economic activities or towards daily household chores such as fetching water, fuel or sibling care), parents’ low perception about education, poor quality of education, teacher absenteeism and/or child’s bad health, a very high proportion of students drops out from primary school. Reasons cited for leaving primary school varied between boys and girls. While most boys left school due to “child not willing” Most girls said they had to help at home. During the past decade, several policy initiatives were undertaken, each with a strong component for improving girls’ education in the country. Besides two educational policies, namely, the National Education Policy (1992) and the National Education Policy (1998-2010), the Government of Pakistan launched the Social Action Programmed (SAP) in 1993/94 which focused on improving the social indicators for girls and women. But none of these policies was followed properly so the variable that was extracted from this article was lack of of financial allocation and Lack of encouragement by government and lack of school facilities. The government of Pakistan is lacking way behind in providing educational facilities Great care needs to be exercised while portraying the future of girls’ education in Pakistan. Female education is subjected to the forces of both demand as well as supply barriers such as poverty, lower status of female in society and her security concerns, coupled with lack of school facilities, teaching materials and inadequacy or absence of female teachers. More importantly, there are strong linkages of the education sector with other sectors. The Study is based on secondary sources. National statistical sources have been extensively used which include the Population and Housing Census 1998; the Economic Surveys (various issues) and the reports published by the National (and provincial) Education Management and Information System (NEMIS). The Study also relies heavily on other data sources and relevant research reports issued by the Central Bureau of Education, Academy of Educational Planning and Management (AEPAM) and the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS).

Hypothesis: future of girl’s education in Pakistan

This article ROLE OF WOMEN IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF PAKISTAN written by Jehan Qamar in 2000 is about the importance of role of women in economic development. And it contains a lot of information about state of women in education and their employment. This article also lays emphasis on political and cultural instability that is affecting the status of women in Pakistan. And this political and cultural instability are also the variables extracted from the article. Furthermore the article discuses that the implication of cultural norms are affecting the education of women a lot different policies made by the Pakistan’s government were reviewed before writing this article and whether there implication is active or not and how it is affecting the economy. However it was concluded that the role of women in economic development can be enhanced if women provided with proper education

Hypothesis: role of women in economic development of Pakistan


GENDER DISPARITY IN PAKISTAN written by ∗Dr. Irshad Hussain in 2008. The article discuses about the role of distance education in addressing the issue of gender disparity in Pakistan The study was descriptive in nature and the researchers adopted survey approach. The study was conducted in Punjab province. The study consisted on three populations: (i). B.A level female students, (ii). their parents and (iii). academicians of Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad. Researchers adopted stratified and convenient sampling technique for collecting data from students & their parents and academicians respectively. The samples of the study comprised of 600 students, 60 parents and 60 academicians .The article starts with describing that gender discrimination is one of the major issue in Pakistan at present as we all know that the Pakistani society is male dominated and males enjoy all the privileges where as female population is a very small and neglected community of Pakistan. Unluckily gender gap is wide and demands immediate attention to address the issue. However distance education is one of the solutions and incentives which provide girls an opportunity to study even in culturally restricted areas. It can cater educational needs of the society at the doorstep on equal basis and frees learners from time and place restrictions. Keeping in consideration the above characteristics Allama Iqbal University is offering different programs through distanced approach. As a result admission rate has increased specially in Allama Iqbal University.

Hypothesis: Is distance education effective or not

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