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Socio-cultural, religious, and political aspects of the status of women in Pakistan.

An overview of socio-cultural, religious, and political background of Pakistani women is presented in this paper. Some social indicators, such as education of women, employment of women, participation in domestic and child related decisions, mobility of women, religion and family planning, communication about family planning, initiation of idea of decision-making about family planning and use of contraception have been examined from Pakistan Fertility and Family Planning Survey (1996-97) to see the current status of women. Literature reveals that male dominance and prevailing traditional Islamic and cultural restrictions on women are major factors affecting the status of women in Pakistan. Data presented in this paper show that there is a little improvement in the social indicators of status of women with special reference to their decisions about household matters, interpersonal discussions and use of family planning methods.


This paper gives an overview of socio-cultural, religious and political background of Pakistani society and examines the current status of women utilising data from Pakistan Fertility and Family planning Survey 1996-97. The low status of women is one of the many factors in Pakistani society, which interfere with the achievement of development goals. The success of family planning intervention also mainly depends upon the cooperation and involvement of women. The traditional social structures and norms that limit women's roles may limit their ability to contribute in efforts to control population growth. Some indicators, such as education of women, employment of women, women's participation in domestic and child related decisions, women's mobility, communication about family planning, religion and family planning, have been examined from Pakistan Fertility and Family Planning Survey (1996-97) [For detail of PFFPS, see Hakim et al. (1998)]. Data reveal that there is a little improvement in the social indicators of status of women in Pakistan, however, it is still very low which inhibit their participation in education and in the labour force as well as encouraging their high fertility. Maintenance of traditional Islamic and cultural restrictions on women may also conflict with the achievement of development goals in family planning. Hence an examination is required of Islamic teachings and customary laws affecting the status of women in Pakistani society and the family which ultimately restrict women from adopting family planning measures.


The overwhelming majority of the population of Pakistan are rural residents and village oriented. Pakistani society is composed of four major ethnic and language groups--Balochi, Pathan, Sindhi and Punjabi living in four different provinces. In recent years, migrants from India, mostly settled in large cities of Sindh (Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur) are also representing themselves as a separate ethnic group known as muhajirs (migrants). They are playing a major role in provincial and federal politics and in the formation of governments. The dominant racial type in Pakistan is Indo-Aryan. The Balochs and Pathans is predominantly an admixture of Turks and Iranians, two of the important branches of the Aryans. They are more akin culturally to those found in the Middle East. Even in urban areas of Punjab and Sindh such as Lahore and Karachi, the influence of Pathans and Balochs has altered the South Asian complexion of these cities [LaPorte (1985), p. 8].

The women of different regions of Pakistan speak different languages. Baluchi is spoken in most parts of Balochistan; Pashto is spoken in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and some parts of Balochistan; Punjabi is spoken in Punjab; and Sindhi is spoken in the province of Sindh. Urdu, the mother tongue of only a small minority, mainly migrants from the urdu-speaking areas of India during 1947 and thereafter, is understood and spoken by a great majority of the people of Pakistan. It is also the national language of Pakistan and is the common linguistic link between the people of various provinces.

The most powerful factor common to the women of Pakistan, however, is neither race nor language, but the common heritage of their Islamic religion [Johnson (1964), p. 7]. Islam has been the source of fundamental values of life, which has moulded some of the basic cultural traditions of Muslims. These traditions include beliefs, sanctions, institutions, and ceremonials [Baluch (1965), p. 177]. The social and political role of religion in Pakistan is of an importance unique among modern states. The religion of Islam provided the basis for the creation of the country itself when the British colonial rulers left the Indian sub-continent in 1947. Pakistan was established so that Muslims could ordain their lives freely on the tenets of Islam [Ahmad (1982), p. 321]. As such, according to Wilber (1964), p. 1. Islam has a far more pervasive influence in most aspects of life in Pakistan than in "most other countries. It influences diet, marriage customs, education and the celebration of festivals and holidays and is an important consideration in implementing various policies.


In Pakistan the extended family is the basic functional unit. Such a family might include the dominant male (usually but not always the eldest) and his wife or wives; his brothers and their wives; his married sons and nephews and their wives; his married sons, daughters, nephews and nieces and, on occasions, other more distant relatives, sometimes in, the role of domestic servants. For most Pakistanis, the family is the only source of security. It is the fundamental social and economic unit.

The eldest male of the family occupies a position of paramount authority. Males are considered superior. The family patriarch directs the affairs of the family, protects its interests, and exacts complete obedience from its members as religious and ethical obligation [Nyrop et al. (1971), p. 108]. Within the family, a son is conditioned to be dominant, and protective of the family interests and its good name. His training exacts unqualified obedience in childhood, respect for elders and religious leaders, and sensitivity to concepts of honour, which may, and frequently do, lead to aggressive behaviour. Wilber (1964), p. 5 argues that a person brought up under this rather rigid system with its overtones of authoritarianism generally lacks any training in responsibility. In adult life this early pattern contributes to acceptance of authority to the detriment of individual initiative and belief in the effectiveness of collective efforts. A son is regarded as permanent part of the family and an asset who will reinforce the family power and status.

A daughter, on the other hand, is not regarded as an asset, although she may be fondly treated. The family is highly conscious that 'a female belongs to another (her future husband)', and is therefore a temporary visitor in the house [Ahmed (1986), p. 33]. A wife is always expected to submit to her husband's authority. When the couple lives with the husband's parents, as is often the case, the woman is under the control of the most senior woman for the household. Until she has borne a child, the newcomer has no real acceptance in the family because her participation in the family is through her children [ESCAP (1987), p. 52]. A childless wife may suffer the disgrace of having her husband take a second wife in few years, and a wife who bears only daughters faces the same possibility. The husband is traditionally less concerned with the social companionship of his wife than with her ability to bear him sons and carry on the family name. The birth of sons ensures her position in the family [Nyrop et al. (1971), p. 111].

In Pakistan, which is a part of the Indian subcontinent, Islamic culture has neither lost its identity nor conquered completely the region culturally; both Islamic and local cultures appropriated something from each other [Singhal (1972), p. 11-12]. As such the culture and traditions of the Pakistani people are a blend of continued adherence to Hindu values and customs by a majority of the converts to Islam in the region, on the one hand, and the values and traditions of Islam brought by migrants and conquerors on the other hand [Ikramullah (1963), p. 160]. Due to overt similarities and consistencies, the practices of the seclusion of women (Purdah) as status symbols and their exclusion from male-oriented work (which also is prominent among Hindus) remained intact and have been blended with the Islamic traditions of honouring and segregating women. However, orthodoxy in Pakistan usually invokes religious injunctions rather than cultural norms to affect the status of women.


The status of women in each society is a complex phenomenon. Despite increased attention to the concept of female status in demography, the meaning of this concept has remained unclear [Mason (1986), p. 5]. To denote the status of women, various scholars have used different concepts in literature such as female autonomy by Dyson and Moore (1983), patriarchy by Cain et al. (1979), women's rights by Dixon (1975) and men's situational advantage by Caldwell (1981). The aspects of female status and roles that are of interest to social policy makers are the ability of women to plan their reproductive behaviour and their capacity to limit their fertility to a desired number of children [Syed (1978), p. 409].

On the basis of discussions by Oppong (1980) and Dixon (1978), Shah (1986) defines the term "status" in the Pakistani context to denote, first, an access to resources such as education, gainful employment, and health services and, second, the position (power, prestige, authority that a woman has in various situations. The term "role" refers to the various activities that a woman performs in relation to her status in a given situation. Since many forces determine the overall status of women in a society, a woman's status cannot be defined by a single indicator but has to be viewed as a combination of multiple types of status, some of which are high while others are low [Shah (1986), p. 5].

Syed (1978) and Sathar et al. (1988) used conventional measures of education and employment of women to denote their status. An historical appreciation of the current role and status of Pakistani women is possible only when their lives are analysed in their entirety, including such aspects as their cultural values in the family, community, and nation, as well as their demographic and economic roles. Furthermore, it is essential to understand the religious and legal prescriptions and rules relating to the status of women [Shah (1986), p. 2].

The limitations on women can be divided into two broad categories. The first category is that of legal restrictions and inequalities interpreted from the Quran (the holy book of Muslims), Hadith (the sayings of Prophet Muhammad), Sunnah (the Acts of Prophet Muhammad) and traditional Shariah laws (laws based on the Quran, Hadith and Sunnah derived by Muslim jurists). These include inequality in inheritance, marriage, divorce, child custody and ability to serve as a legal witness. The second category of restrictions is those associated with the enforcement of purdah (seclusion and hiding of women from men) or seclusion of women. Both types of restrictions curtail women's participation in educational, economic and social activities. In many areas, there are additional restrictions based on local customs rather than religious sanctions.


Islam regulates all aspects of life. As the family is believed to be the centre of the Islamic social order, its regulations are quite explicit about the role and place of women in society. Originally, the intent of these laws was to improve the position of women, because before Islam, under tribal law in Arabia, women had virtually no legal status. Various provisions of Islamic teachings improved the situation; however, subsequently provisions of Islamic teachings were interpreted in the context of the existing traditions and customs of a given society, emphasising women's primary role in the family, within which they had both rights and duties [Callaway and Creevey (1989), p. 86].

Islam does not have an ecclesiastical system for training religious leaders, and three distinct types of religious authority can be identified in Pakistan. These are the local maulvi (local religious leaders/preachers), the maulana or ulema (learned scholars in Islamic teachings) and the pir (spiritual leaders). They operate through their mosques (Islamic place of worship), political organisations or groups of followers in the provinces. The local maulvi are conservative and have a limited knowledge of theology, and any social changes that reflect a bias towards western culture are thought by them as "immoral, materialistic or unspiritual". Their strongholds are the mosques and their personal influence extends into many aspects of their local community life such as solemnising marriages and teaching the Quran.

The religious ideas of Maulana Maududi, a religious scholar and ulema, dominate the thinking of many people in Pakistan, particularly those who are either members of his political party, the Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamic Party), or sympathetic to its aims [Shah (1986c), p. 24]. His ideas for an Islamic government have spread well beyond the borders of Pakistan [Baxter (1985), p. 2]. He and his right-wing political party consistently hold that a truly Islamic society is based on complete segregation of the sexes and the subordination of women to men. Hence, his party and other likeminded persons have advocated the inferior status and complete segregation of women, who should preferably be confined to their homes, but otherwise heavily veiled from head to foot, and the total exclusion of women from any decision-making bodies or processes [Mumtaz and Shaheed (1987), p. 16].

Maulana Maududi believes that man is the active and woman the passive partner in the system of nature, and as such, by virtue of possessing natural qualities of dominance, power and authority, man is superior [Maududi (1987), p. 134].

Hussain (1987), a writer from Pakistan (a retired judge of the High Court of Pakistan), has written an extensive commentary on the status of women in Islam by examining its different social and economic aspects. To Hussain (1987), p. 11, reduction of the status of women by the religious scholars is a proof of a double standard for modesty and chastity, one for men and another for women. The Quran fixed a uniform standard both for men and women by directing them to guard their private parts and to lower their gaze. Both sexes were required to be free agents in the achievement of the goal of maintaining chastity. But the ulema in the classical age discounted the ability of the woman to guard her chastity, and advocated here segregation from male society. Unobtrusively, the woman, through the negative attitude of segregation thrust upon her by the ulema, was made the sentinel of male chastity. This is what the present day ulema deduce from the seclusion and veiling of women [Hussain (1987), p. 11].

Qutb, an Egyptian religious scholar, also maintains that Islam, after acknowledging a perfectly equal status as human beings for both men and women, and treating them as equals, entitles them to equal rights. In Islam, a woman has been given equal human status, economic independence, and the right to participate in social life directly. She has the right to be educated and even to work outside the home [Qutb (1980), p. 99].

In fact, according to Fazlur Rahman, religious scholars from Pakistan, in Islamic religion women are supposed to be equal partners with men. Muslim society degenerated in the Middle Ages, and now it is time to check wrong trends [Rehman cited in Maloney (1974), p. 389]. There is no religious restriction on women attaining education or working outside their homes. However, Islamic prescriptions with regard to the rights of women to education, property, and approval of marital partner were neither institutionalised nor generally granted in Pakistan [Shah (1986), p. 21].


Any attempt to interfere with or to change the Muslim religious laws in matters relating to the family can embarrass the government, at least in South Asia. For example, during 1985 a judgement by the Indian Supreme Court created a furore. The Supreme Court had confirmed the judgement of the high court awarding Shahbano, a divorced Muslim woman, a maintenance allowance from her husband, and dismissed the husband's appeal against the award of maintenance under section 125 of the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure, which relates to maintenance of wives, children and parents. The ruling party (Congress-I) had supported the judgement against the wishes of Muslim fundamentalists, and subsequently lost some by elections as a sizeable number of Muslim votes turned against Congress-I. When an independent Muslim member later introduced a bill in the parliament to save Muslim personal law, the ruling party reversed its earlier position and supported the bill to gain the sympathies of the Muslim population [Pathak and Rajan (1989), p. 558].

The attitudes of religious fundamentalists have affected the position of women in Pakistan. However, the views of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, are quite different and can be depicted from the following quotation of his speech:
 It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within
 the four walls of their houses as prisoners. There is no sanction
 anywhere for the deplorable conditions in which our women have to
 live. You should take your women with you as comrades in every
 sphere of life [Jinnah, 1944 cited in Mumtaz and Shaheed (1987), p.

Jinnah advocated an equal share for women with men in social and national life [Qayyum (1970), p. 15].

After the independence of Pakistan, the politicians viewed the ulema as "irritants", uneducated and narrow-minded. The ulema held conventions in 1951 and 1953 at Lahore and passed resolutions presenting the principles of an Islamic State, which they insisted, should be incorporated into the constitution of Pakistan. Maulana Maududi, chief of Jammat-e-Islami, advocated that voting rights should be extended to all adult males and only to educated females. He expounded the view the women should not be allowed to take up any public office where they were likely to come in contract with men. Pious and learned males could only hold important public offices, including that of head of state. He recommended a separate assembly of women to advise legislatures on issues relating to women.

While it is true that in the early years of Pakistan (1947-58), the view of orthodox Muslims were looked upon with disdain and irreverence by the political leadership, it is equally true that measures to pacify them were also taken. For instance, Pakistan was declared an Islamic Republic under the 1956 constitution; and ulema were provided with an advisory role in the legislature. However, most of their demands regarding the functioning of an Islamic Republic, such as excluding women from contesting or participating in elections, were ignored by the Constituent Assembly [Mumtaz and Shaheed (1987), p. 9].

President Ayub Khan's period (1958-69) was significant for being the period of reversal for the Islamic advocates. Ayub Khan challenged the medieval thinking of the ulema and saw them as divisive and retrogressive elements in society. He promulgated the Family Laws Ordinance 1961. This law ensures compulsory registration of marriages, which minimises fraud and saves innocent women from exploitation [Chaudhry (1980), p. 152]. Under this ordinance, polygamy was put under severe constraints and a husband could not marry a second time without the prior permission of his current wife.

The 1973 constitution, prepared by the Bhutto regime (1972-77), gave women more rights. Relevant clauses of the 1973 constitution are as follows:

Article 25: (1) All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to the equal protection of law.(2) There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone. (3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the state from making any special provision for the protection of the women and children.

Article 27: No citizen otherwise qualified for appointment in the service of Pakistan shall be discriminated against in respect of any such appointment on the ground only of race, religion, caste, sex, residence or place of birth.

Article 34: Steps shall be taken to ensure full participation of women in all sphere of national life.

Article 35: The state shall protect marriage, the family, the mother and the child.

Article 37: Clause (e): The state shall make provision for securing just and human conditions of work, ensuring that children and women are not employed in vocations unsuited to their age or sex, and maternity benefits for women in employment [Hafeez (1981), 15-16].

Nevertheless, some institutional developments during Zia's period are significant in recognising the adverse position of women. Prior to 1975, the status of women was not an issue. Development plans did not focus on women as a separate group in need of special development programmes [Shah (1989), p. 150]. In January 1979 an important institution--Women's Division'--was established within the cabinet Secretariat to undertake special projects to meet the special needs of women in the country. This division has now been given the status of Ministry. Another noticeable change in the government's emphasis on women's status was the overt recognition given to the subject in the Sixth Plan 1983-88. Specific targets in the areas of education, employment, mortality, and fertility were set up. The framework for the plan emphasised equality of opportunities. It stated that women's development was a prerequisite for overall national development and that no society could develop 'half liberated and half shackled' [Shah (1989), p. 161].

The period of 1990s has witnessed somewhat more progressive approach towards women participation in education, employment as well as use of family planning measures.


In Pakistan concept of the role of women in society vary [Shah (1989)], but there is consensus that their access to services and opportunities is restricted [UNICEF (1988), p. 69]. The parental or maternal role has always been of a very high priority for Pakistani women. Cultural values prescribe the mother's position as one demanding respect, veneration and obedience from children. Islamic teaching lend full support to these values, resulting in well-known sayings and beliefs such as 'heaven lies under the mother's feet'. Various studies indicate that the maternal role is supreme and that the values related to fertility control have not taken hold in the society as a whole [Shah (1986)]. A woman's assets are calculated only in terms of her power of reproduction [Mumtaz and Shaheed (1987), p. 23]. She strongly feels that her social credibility and status depends on her childbearing role [Manzoor (1991), p. 30-31]. Occupational role is particularly important, mainly because it provides a potential alternative role to the wife-mother role. However in Pakistan the occupational role is not a primary role that women are expected to fulfil. Most women enter the labour force because of financial need and, in most cases, Work participation is prestige reducing rather than prestige enhancing. The individual role includes activities and issues such as pursuit of education, employment, childbearing, decision about the number of children, decision about using family planning methods, mobility, and household decisions. Some of these indicators of women's status are analysed utilising data from Pakistan Fertility and Family Planning Survey, 1996-97 (presented in appendix).


Appendix Table 1 shows the levels of education for ever-married women by province and by urban-rural residence. Data reveal that 54 percent of ever-married women have no education at all. Twenty-one percent have informal or Quranic education, while a quarter have some formal schooling. Only six percent of women have above secondary level education.

Urban rural differentials are striking. In major urban areas only a quarter of women are uneducated, compared with almost two-thirds of women in rural areas.

Employment of Women

The employment of women has important implications for their economic independence. Appendix Table 2a presents the employment status of women. Overall, 20 percent of ever-married women are currently working for money. There is considerable variation in employment between the provinces. Urban rural differences are also evident, and the percentage of currently working women is highest in rural areas. It is likely that women's involvement in the agricultural sector in rural areas has been reported as paid employment.

The least educated are the largest group among women who are currently working. Twenty-four percent of women with no education report working for money compared with only 13 percent of those with up to primary schooling and the same percent of those with up to middle schooling. The percentage increases slightly (19 percent) among the least educated group. Appendix Table 2b shows the distribution of women who work for money according to occupation, employment status, place of work, and retention of money. Among the women who work, nearly one-third is employed in production (29 percent). The service and agricultural sectors are the second most common sources of employment (26 and 27 percent respectively). Sixty-four percent of women work for family members, and 15 percent are self-employed. Almost two-thirds of women work away from their homes. Just under half (41 percent) of women report that they keep all or part of the money that they earn, while more than one third (36 percent) claim that they keep none of the money that they earn. The remainders keep part of their earnings.

Participation in Domestic and Child-Related Decisions

Appendix Table 3 summarises the indicators of women's participation and decision-making in household matters, namely the treatment of a child, buying food for the family and buying their own clothes. It is clear that the vast majority of women participate in decisions about these three key aspects of domestic life. However, only a minority has the final say in decision-making. Such decision-making power increases with age. Women aged 30 years or more are much more likely to report responsibility for taking final decisions than younger women. There is also a provincial difference. Women decision-making power is far greater in Punjab and Sindh than in NWFP or Balochistan. Urbanisation and education both appear to enhance women's autonomy.

Mobility of Women

The norm in Pakistan is that women stay at home and take care of the house and children. Women are not culturally restricted to staying at home, but since most areas are underdeveloped there is felt to be a lack of personal security and they are advised by their families not to travel alone outside their locality or village. Consequently, women's mobility is limited in Pakistan. In the PFFPS, women's mobility was evaluated in terms of their self-reported ability (a) to go outside the locality or village unaccompanied, and (b) to go to a hospital unaccompanied. Appendix Table 4 shows that women's mobility varies by age, province, urban-rural residence and education. Overall, 18 percent of women report that they have travelled alone outside their locality or village. Women are least mobile in Balochistan where only five percent of women have travelled alone outside their village or locality. Older, urban and educated women are the most able to travel alone outside their immediate locality.

One quarter of women report that they could go to a hospital alone, compared with almost three-quarters who said that they would need to be accompanied.

Religion and Family Planning

Muslims comprise 97 percent of the total population of Pakistan. Some Muslims quote religion as being against family planning. Fatalistic attitudes regarding the number of children is also indirectly considered being religious in origin, and does not support family planning.

Appendix Table 5 show that more than half women report that they have read nothing in Quran or Hadith in favour or against family planning, nine percent report reading in favour of family planning and 32 percent say that they have read something hostile to family planning. Thus more than two-thirds of Muslim women have read nothing against family planning and only one-third have read something categorically against it. Similarly 47 percent of Muslim women report hearing a Moulvi Sahib or Pir Sahib speaking against family planning.

In practice, however, only 10 percent of currently married women never used family planning on religious grounds. In fact there is nothing in Islam specifically against family planning.

Communication about Family Planning

Studies show that discussions of family planning between women and their husbands increases the likelihood of contraceptive use, while talking about family planning with friends, neighbours and relatives is likely to improve acceptance and understanding of family planning. It might also be a measure of the acceptability of family planning, both at the individual and community level. Of women who reported discussing family planning, husbands were the most likely persons they discussed it with. Friends and neighbours was the second most common, followed by other female relatives.

Appendix Table 6 shows that overall, 45 percent of currently married women reported that they had discussed family planning with their husbands in the past year. These include 27 percent who discussed family planning once or twice and 18 percent who discussed it at least three times. These findings show an increase in the level of interspousal discussion since the PDHS 1990-91, when approximately one in four currently married women reported that they had discussed family planning with their husbands in the last year.

Levels of inter-spousal discussion vary by age, residence, province and education. As age increases, the level and frequency of inter-spousal discussion also increases. However it begins to decrease in older age groups. Women aged 15-19 years and 45-49 years are least likely to have talked to their husbands about family planning during the last year. Inter-spousal discussions are more frequent among urban women. Women living in NWFP are also more likely to have discussed family planning with their husbands in the last year compared to women from other provinces. Education greatly influences inter-spousal discussion. For example, 69 percent of currently married women with above secondary education discussed family planning compared with 40 percent of those with no education.


About Family Planning

Insight into who initiates the idea of Family Planning and the decision-making process leading to the adoption of family planning is important in order to better understand what influence women to regulate their fertility. Appendix Table 7 presents these data for currently married respondents. At the time of first use of contraception, 54 percent of currently married women used contraception on their own initiative whereas 26 percent used contraception on the suggestion of their husbands. Fifteen percent initiated use of contraception by a joint consensus between husband and wife and 5 percent used contraception because of the influence of other persons. "Other persons" include mainly medical and paramedical persons.

Use of Contraceptives

Appendix Table 8 presents trends in the CPR among currently married non-pregnant women. Since the mid-1980s, derived from four national surveys. The data show that between 1990-91 and 1996-97 the percent of currently married non-pregnant women using contraception has doubled from 14 to 28 percent. Use of most methods has increased, indicating positive behaviour of women towards the use of family planning methods. Use of both female methods (particularly sterilisation and IUD) and male methods (condom and withdrawal) have increased. However, it is still low compared to several other countries in Asian region.


The Islamic religion is the most powerful homogeneous characteristic of the Pakistani society and has moulded some of the basic cultural traditions of Muslims of Pakistan. The blend of both Hindu customs and Islamic values has affected the position of women in the Pakistani family and society. Male dominance has become an expected norm leading to a woman's secondary role in the decision-making processes. However, religious injunctions are more important and often invoked by orthodoxy to affect the status of women. As a result the inequality interpreted from the religious teaching has ultimately restricted women from openly participating in educational, economic, political and social activities. The religious scholars and local preachers also pressure for such political decisions limiting an active role for women in the family and society.

Data presented from the PFFPS survey show that there is little improvement in the status of women with special reference to their decisions about household matters, inter-spousal discussions and use of family planning methods.

In Pakistan a women is encouraged to perform the role of a good mother and housewife within the four wall of the house rather than to become an educationist, manager or community leader in the active life of the society. Thus socialisation of children, expectations of the family and society, and religious and political restrictions encourage lower status of women and high fertility. Well-organised efforts are required to remove these entrenched obstacles.
Appendix Table 1
Percent Distribution of Ever-married Women according
to Education, By Province and Urban-Rural Residence

 Formal Education

 Informal or Up to Up to
Province/Residence None Quranic Primary Middle

Punjab 41.1 31.8 13.0 5.4
Sindh 58.6 8.8 7.7 4.4
NWFP 84.5 3.6 7.6 1.6
Balochistan 93.9 0.9 2.1 1.1
Total Urban 32.8 16.6 13.1 10.0
 Major Urban 25.1 12.8 12.2 12.4
 Other Urban 42.2 21.3 14.2 7.1
Rural 62.8 23.0 9.4 2.0
All Ever-married 53.9 21.1 10.5 4.4
All Currently
 Married Women 53.9 20.9 10.7 4.3
All Formerly
 Married Women 53.9 25.5 5.0 7.0

 Formal Education

 Up to Above Any
Province/Residence Secondary Secondary Formal Total

Punjab 4.8 4.0 27.1 100.0
Sindh 6.7 13.8 32.6 100.0
NWFP 1.8 0.8 11.8 100.0
Balochistan 1.4 0.7 5.2 100.0
Total Urban 11.1 16.4 50.6 100.0
 Major Urban 12.4 25.1 62.2 100.0
 Other Urban 9.4 5.8 36.5 100.0
Rural 1.9 1.0 14.2 100.0
All Ever-married 4.6 5.6 25.1 100.0
All Currently
 Married Women 4.6 5.6 25.2 100.0
All Formerly
 Married Women 4.5 4.2 20.6 100.0

Province/Residence Number

Punjab 4581
Sindh 1749
NWFP 1136
Balochistan 382
Total Urban 2338
 Major Urban 1282
 Other Urban 1056
Rural 5510
All Ever-married 7848
All Currently
 Married Women 7584
All Formerly
 Married Women 264

Source: Pakistan Fertility and Family Planning Survey (1996-97).
Table 4.2a.

Appendix Table 2a
Percentage of Ever-married Women Working for Money

Background Percentage Working
Characteristics for Money Number

 Punjab 20.5 4581
 Sindh 30.0 1749
 NWFP 5.1 1136
 Balochistan 6.3 382
 Total Urban 15.2 2338
 Major Urban 12.9 1282
 Other Urban 18.0 1056
 Rural 21.6 5510
 No Education 23.9 4228
 Only Informal or Quranic 17.3 1654
 Up to Primary 12.5 823
 Up to Middle 13.2 345
 Upto Secondary 11.4 362
 Secondary + 19.0 437
All 19.7 7848

Currently Married Women 19.2 7584
Formerly Married Women 32.8 264
Table 4.4a.

Source: Pakistan Fertility and Family Planning Survey 1996-97.

Appendix Table 2b
Percent Distribution of Women Working for Money according
to Selected Characteristics of Work

Characteristic of Work Working for Money Number
 Professional, Technical 9.0 139
 Administrative, Managerial 0.3 5
 Clerical 0.5 8
 Sales 1.1 17
 Service 25.9 399
 Agriculture 27.4 422
 Production 29.1 448
 Other 6.8 105
Employment Status
 Work for Family Member 63.8 984
 Work for Someone Else 20.9 322
 Self-employed 15.3 236
Place of Work
 Home 38.6 596
 Away 61.4 948
Retention of Money
 Keep all the Money 40.7 629
 Keep some Money 23.3 360
 Does not Keep any Money 35.9 554
Total 100.0 1543

Source: Pakistan Fertility and Family Planning Survey 1996-97.
Table 4.4b.

Appendix Table 3
Indicators of Women's Participation in Decision-making

 Child Health Care Purchase of Food

Background Participate in Have Final Participate in
Characteristics Decision Say Decision

 Punjab 94.1 33.3 90.1
 Sindh 88.9 28.0 80.2
 NWFP 90.7 14.1 83.8
 Baluchistan 59.6 6.5 50.0
 Total Urban 92.3 39.4 87.0
 Major Urban 93.2 45.5 87.1
 Other Urban 91.4 31.9 86.9
 Rural 90.2 23.1 84.2
 None 87.9 20.8 82.0
 Informal or Quranic 93.4 34.9 89.0
 Up to Primary 93.7 27.8 86.0
 Up to Middle 93.5 42.0 87.9
 Up to Secondary 97.7 40.7 89.9
 Above Secondary 96.5 50.5 91.0
 15-19 82.1 7.1 72.2
 20-29 88.4 21.7 82.5
 30-39 92.6 33.2 88.4
 40-49 93.7 33.9 89.2
All 90.8 28.1 85.0

 Purchase of Food Purchase of Clothing

Background Have Final in Have Final
Characteristics Say Decision Say

 Punjab 36.7 91.1 57.4
 Sindh 28.7 86.9 46.9
 NWFP 13.7 87.8 27.5
 Baluchistan 10.3 61.1 25.9
 Total Urban 41.8 91.7 65.7
 Major Urban 50.4 92.2 71.4
 Other Urban 31.2 91.1 58.7
 Rural 25.5 86.8 42.3
 None 23.1 84.7 38.3
 Informal or Quranic 37.3 91.6 55.5
 Up to Primary 33.0 90.7 58.4
 Up to Middle 38.2 91.9 70.7
 Up to Secondary 41.4 96.0 69.2
 Above Secondary 52.8 95.7 79.5
 15-19 9.9 79.5 23.1
 20-29 21.5 87.1 44.7
 30-39 38.5 90.0 55.5
 40-49 41.4 90.7 56.9
All 30.3 88.2 49.2

Source: Pakistan Fertility and Family Planning Survey 1996-97.
Table 4.7a.

Appendix Table 4
Indicators of Mobility for Ever-married Women
by Background Characteristics

 Women who have been
 Outside the Village Perceived Ability to Go
 to a Hospital

 Would Need
Background Alone With an Alone to be
Characteristics Adult Accompanied
 15-19 4.8 49.8 6.5 92.6
 20-29 11.7 50.8 15.7 80.7
 30-39 22.0 47.2 31.6 63.0
 40-49 29.0 45.3 35.6 59.4
 Punjab 19.4 38.9 29.7 64.9
 Sindh 19.3 48.6 20.6 76.0
 NWFP 15.9 76.5 15.6 82.8
 Baluchistan 4.8 79.2 4.7 91.4
 Total Urban 25.1 51.7 35.9 60.0
 Major Urban 30.6 57.3 41.6 54.2
 Other Urban 18.4 44.8 28.9 67.0
 Rural 15.2 47.1 19.6 76.0
 No Education 14.6 50.4 18.5 78.1
 Only Informal or
 Quranic 20.5 38.3 28.2 65.8
 Up to Primary 18.0 43.7 24.6 69.5
 Up to Middle 24.0 52.2 31.5 64.9
 Up to Secondary 22.4 60.4 35.8 59.1
 Above Secondary 35.8 63.8 51.6 43.6
 All 18.1 48.4 24.4 71.2

 Perceived Ability to Go
 to a Hospital

Background It Depends Total
Characteristics Number
 15-19 0.9 100.0 534
 20-29 3.7 100.0 3078
 30-39 5.4 100.0 2733
 40-49 5.0 100.0 1504
 Punjab 5.5 100.0 4581
 Sindh 3.3 100.0 1749
 NWFP 1.6 100.0 1136
 Baluchistan 3.8 100.0 382
 Total Urban 4.2 100.0 2338
 Major Urban 4.2 100.0 1282
 Other Urban 4.1 100.0 1056
 Rural 4.4 100.0 5510
 No Education 3.3 100.0 4228
 Only Informal or
 Quranic 6.0 100.0 1654
 Up to Primary 5.9 100.0 823
 Up to Middle 3.7 100.0 345
 Up to Secondary 5.1 100.0 362
 Above Secondary 4.8 100.0 437
 All 4.3 100.0 7848

Source: Pakistan Fertility and Family Planning Survey 1996-97.
Table 4.6.

Appendix Table 5
Percent Distribution of Currently Married Muslim Women, According
to Nature of Religious Views on Family Planning, by Source

 In Favour Against in Favour
 of Family Family nor
 Planning Planning Against

Read in Quran or
 Hardith 9.4 32.3 58.3
Heard from "Moulvi
 Sahib" or "Pir
Sahib" 3.9 46.6 50.9

 Number of
 Total Muslim Women

Read in Quran or
 Hardith 100.0 7258
Heard from "Moulvi
 Sahib" or "Pir
Sahib" 100.0 7258

Source: Pakistan Fertility and Family
Planning Survey 1996-97.

Appendix Table 6
Percent Distribution of Currently Married Women according to Frequency
of Interspousal Discussion about Family Planning in the Past Year
by Selected Background Characteristics

 Family Planning Discussed

Characteristics Never Once or Twice More often
 15-19 69.4 19.5 11.2
 20-24 57.3 28.0 14.7
 25-29 51.0 30.6 18.3
 30-34 49.9 27.5 22.6
 35-39 51.0 28.8 20.3
 40-44 54.7 30.0 15.3
 45-49 70.9 17.4 11.7
 Total Urban 48.7 27.8 23.6
 Major Urban 45.6 28.5 25.9
 Other Urban 52.5 26.9 20.7
 Rural 57.8 27.3 14.9
 Punjab 53.3 30.5 16.2
 Sindh 64.2 24.3 11.5
 NWFP 39.0 25.4 35.6
 Balochistan 83.0 10.8 6.2
 None 59.5 25.1 15.4
 Informal or 59.9 26.8 13.2
 Quranic 47.7 29.9 22.4
 Up to Primary 44.1 33.4 22.5
 Up to Middle 38.5 30.8 30.7
 Up to Secondary 31.1 39.3 29.7
 Above Secondary
All 55.1 27.4 17.5

 Family Planning

Characteristics Total Number
 15-19 100.0 529
 20-24 100.0 1328
 25-29 100.0 1697
 30-34 100.0 1465
 35-39 100.0 1165
 40-44 100.0 819
 45-49 100.0 581
 Total Urban 100.0 2245
 Major Urban 100.0 1235
 Other Urban 100.0 1009
 Rural 100.0 5339
 Punjab 100.0 4429
 Sindh 100.0 1680
 NWFP 100.0 1102
 Balochistan 100.0 372
 None 100.0 4085
 Informal or 100.0 1587
 Quranic 100.0 810
 Up to Primary 100.0 327
 Up to Middle 100.0 350
 Up to Secondary 100.0 425
 Above Secondary
All 100.0 7584

Source: Pakistan Fertility and Family Planning
Survey 1996-97.
Table 7.14b.

Appendix Table 7
Percent Distribution of Currently Married Ever-users
according to Person Who Initiated the Idea to Use
Family Planning, by Residence

Initiator of Family Residence
Planning Use Total Urban Major Urban Other Urban

Respondent 49.9 48.3 52.5
Husband 22.6 19.4 27.8
Joint Husband and Wife 23.3 28.3 15.4
Other Person 4.1 4.0 4.3
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0
Number 1199 739 460

Initiator of Family Rural All
Planning Use
 56.9 53.9
Respondent 28.7 26.0
Husband 8.9 15.2
Joint Husband and Wife 5.5 4.9
Other Person 100.0 100.0
Total 1563 2762

Source: Pakistan Fertility and Family
Planning Survey 1996-97.
Table 7.5a.

Appendix Table 8
Method-specific Contraceptive Prevalence of Currently
Married Non-pregnant Women

Contraceptive Method PCPS 1984-85 PDHS 1990-91

Any Method 9.1 14.0
Any Modern Method 7.6 10.7
 Pill 1.4 0.8
 IUD 0.8 1.5
 Injectables 0.6 0.9
 Implants 0.0 0.0
 Vaginal Methods 0.1 0.0
 Condom 2.1 3.2
 Female Sterilisation 2.6 4.2
 Male Sterilisation 0.0 0.0
Any Traditional Method 1.5 3.3
 Rhythm 0.1 1.5
 Withdrawal 0.9 1.4
 Other 0.5 0.4
 Number U 5375

Contraceptive Method PCPS 1994-95 PFFPS 1996-97

Any Method 20.5 28.2
Any Modern Method 14.5 19.9
 Pill 0.8 2.0
 IUD 2.4 4.1
 Injectables 1.2 1.7
 Implants 0.0 0.0
 Vaginal Methods 0.0 0.1
 Condom 4.3 5.0
 Female Sterilisation 5.8 7.1
 Male Sterilisation 0.0 0.1
Any Traditional Method 6.0 8.3
 Rhythm 1.2 2.3
 Withdrawal 4.9 5.4
 Other -- 0.6
 Number 6878 6424

U = Unknown (Figure not Available)

Source: Pakistan Fertility and Family Planning Survey 1996-97.
Table 7.8d.


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Abdul Hakim is Director and Azra Aziz is Fellow at the National Institute of Population Studies, Islamabad.
COPYRIGHT 1998 Reproduced with permission of the Publications Division, Pakistan Institute of Development Economies, Islamabad, Pakistan.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:GENDER ISSUES
Author:Hakim, Abdul; Aziz, Azra
Publication:Pakistan Development Review
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 22, 1998
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