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 family planning
Use of measures designed to regulate the number and spacing of children within a family, largely to curb population growth and ensure each family’s access to limited resources. , 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 Male dominance, or maledom, generally refers to heterosexual BDSM activities where the dominant partner is male, and the submissive partner is female. However, the term is sometimes used to refer to homosexual BDSM activities, where both partners are male and one is dominant. and prevailing traditional Islamic and cultural restrictions on women are major factors affecting the status of women in Pakistan The status of women in Pakistan varies considerably across classes, regions, and the rural/urban divide due to uneven socioeconomic development and the impact of tribal, feudal, and capitalist social formations on women's lives. . 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.
SOCIO-CULTURAL, RELIGIOUS, AND POLITICAL BACKGROUND
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 complexion /com·plex·ion/ (kom-plek´shun) the color and appearance of the skin of the face.
The natural color, texture, and appearance of the skin, especially of the face. 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 NWFP North-West Frontier Province (northwest Pakistan)
NWFP Northwest Forest Plan
NWFP Non-Wood Forest Product ) 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 A census held by the Pakistan International Bureau indicates that over 96% of the population of Pakistan are Muslims. There are small non-Muslim religious groups: Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Bahá'ís and others 3%. 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 ORDAIN. To ordain is to make an ordinance, to enact a law.
2. In the constitution of the United States, the preamble. declares that the people "do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America. their lives freely on the tenets of Islam [Ahmad (1982), p. 321]. As such, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. 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.
THE INSTITUTION OF THE FAMILY
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 patriarch, in the Bible
patriarch (pā`trēärk), in biblical tradition, one of the antediluvian progenitors of the race as given in Genesis (e.g., Seth) or one of the ancestors of the Jews (e.g. 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 ESCAP Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
ESCAP European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychology (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 companionship
the faculty possessed by most truly domesticated animals. They are social creatures and have a great need for the companionship of other animals. Animals in groups are quieter and more productive as a rule. 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 sub·con·ti·nent
1. A large landmass, such as India, that is part of a continent but is considered either geographically or politically as an independent entity.
2. , 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 seclusion Forensic psychiatry A strategy for managing disturbed and violent Pts in psychiatric units, which consists of supervised confinement of a Pt to a room–ie, involuntary isolation, to protect others from harm of women (Purdah purdah
Seclusion of women from public observation by means of concealing clothing (including the veil) and walled enclosures as well as screens and curtains within the home. ) 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
The status of women in each society is a complex phenomenon. Despite increased attention to the concept of female status in demography demography (dĭmŏg`rəfē), science of human population. Demography represents a fundamental approach to the understanding of human society. , 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 patriarchy: see matriarchy. by Cain et al. (1979), women's rights The effort to secure equal rights for women and to remove gender discrimination from laws, institutions, and behavioral patterns.
The women's rights movement began in the nineteenth century with the demand by some women reformers for the right to vote, known as suffrage, and 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 reproductive behaviour
In animals, any activity directed toward perpetuation of a species. Sexual reproduction, the most common mode, occurs when a female's egg is fertilized by a male's sperm. 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 gain·ful
Providing a gain; profitable: gainful employment.
gainful·ly adv. employment, and health services health services Managed care The benefits covered under a health contract 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 relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc 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 hadith (hädēth`), a tradition or the collection of the traditions of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, including his sayings and deeds, and his tacit approval of what was said or done in his presence. (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 The following lists are of prominent jurists, including judges, listed in alphabetical order by jurisdiction. See also list of lawyers. Antiquity
Under most circumstances, state laws provide that biological parents make all decisions that are involved in rearing their 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 Noun 1. place of worship - any building where congregations gather for prayer
house of God, house of prayer, house of worship
bethel - a house of worship (especially one for sailors) ), 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 ma·te·ri·al·ism
1. Philosophy The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.
2. 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 An Islamic party is a party that works for promoting Islam while an Islamic political party is a political party that promotes Islam as a political movement by offering nominees for election in a democracy - of which there are several in the Islamic world. ), 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 The term Islamic Society has several different meanings:
Arabic, Arabic language - the Semitic language of the Arabs; spoken in a variety of dialects
martyr, sufferer - one who suffers for the sake of principle (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 Chastity
See also Modesty, Purity, Virginity.
virgin saint and martyr. [Christian Hagiog.: Brewster, 76]
(Rom. Diana) moon goddess; virgin huntress. [Gk. Myth. , 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 private parts n. men or women's genitalia, excluding a woman's breasts, usually referred to in prosecutions for "indecent exposure" or production and/or sale of pornography. 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 un·ob·tru·sive
Not undesirably noticeable or blatant; inconspicuous.
unob·tru , the woman, through the negative attitude of segregation thrust upon her by the ulema, was made the sentinel sentinel /sen·ti·nel/ (sen´ti-n'l) one who gives a warning or indicates danger.
a recording mechanism, such as an animal, a farm or a veterinarian, posted explicitly to record a possible occurrence or series of of male chastity. This is what the present day ulema deduce de·duce
tr.v. de·duced, de·duc·ing, de·duc·es
1. To reach (a conclusion) by reasoning.
2. To infer from a general principle; reason deductively: 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 Fazlur Rahman Malik (Urdu: فضل الرحمان ملک) (September 21, 1919 – July 26, 1988) was a well-known scholar of Islam; M. , 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 Adj. 1. institutionalised - officially placed in or committed to a specialized institution; "had hopes of rehabilitating the institutionalized juvenile delinquents"
2. 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 embarrass /em·bar·rass/ (em-bar´as) to impede the function of; to obstruct.
To interfere with or impede (a bodily function or part). the government, at least in South Asia This article is about the geopolitical region in Asia. For geophysical treatments, see Indian subcontinent.
South Asia, also known as Southern 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. 7]
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 The term Islamic state refers to groups that have adopted Islam as their primary faith. Specifically:
The right to vote on matters that are put to a vote of security holders. For example the right to vote for directors.
The type of voting and the amount of control held by the owners of a class of stock. 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 pac·i·fy
tr.v. pac·i·fied, pac·i·fy·ing, pac·i·fies
1. To ease the anger or agitation of.
2. To end war, fighting, or violence in; establish peace in. them were also taken. For instance, Pakistan was declared an Islamic Republic An Islamic republic, in its modern context, has come to mean several different things, some contradictory to others. Theoretically, to many religious leaders, it is a state under a particular theocratic form of government advocated by some Muslim religious leaders in the Middle 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 A constituent assembly is a body elected with the purpose of drafting, and in some cases, adopting a constitution. An example is the Russian Constituent Assembly, which was established in Russia in the wake of the October Revolution of 1917, which overthrew the Russian Provisional [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 ret·ro·gress
intr.v. ret·ro·gressed, ret·ro·gress·ing, ret·ro·gress·es
1. To return to an earlier, inferior, or less complex condition.
2. To go or move backward. elements in society. He promulgated prom·ul·gate
tr.v. prom·ul·gat·ed, prom·ul·gat·ing, prom·ul·gates
1. To make known (a decree, for example) by public declaration; announce officially. See Synonyms at announce.
2. 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 polygamy: see marriage.
Marriage to more than one spouse at a time. Although the term may also refer to polyandry (marriage to more than one man), it is often used as a synonym for polygyny (marriage to more than one woman), which appears 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 caste [Port., casta=basket], ranked groups based on heredity within rigid systems of social stratification, especially those that constitute Hindu India. Some scholars, in fact, deny that true caste systems are found outside India. , 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 unsuited
1. not appropriate for a particular task or situation: a likeable man unsuited to a military career
2. 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 The Cabinet Secretariat (jp: 内閣官房; Naikaku-Kambou) is the secretariat of the cabinet of Japan responsible for supporting directly the prime minister and managing general affairs in the cabinet. In 2005, the personnel is numbered 665. 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.
EMPIRICAL FINDINGS ON THE CURRENT STATUS OF WOMEN
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 un·der·de·vel·oped
Not adequately or normally developed; immature. 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 un·ac·com·pa·nied
1. Going or acting without companions or a companion: unaccompanied children on a flight.
2. Music Performed or scored without accompaniment. , 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 fa·tal·ism
1. The doctrine that all events are predetermined by fate and are therefore unalterable.
2. Acceptance of the belief that all events are predetermined and inevitable. 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 sa·hib
Used formerly as a form of respectful address for a European man in colonial India.
[Hindi s 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 PDHS Palm Desert High School (California)
PDHS Palm Desert High School (Palm Desert, CA)
PDHS Palo Duro High School 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.
INITIATION OF THE IDEA OF DECISION-MAKING
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 par·a·med·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or being a person trained to give emergency medical treatment or assist medical professionals.
Use of Contraceptives
Appendix Table 8 presents trends in the CPR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Definition
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a procedure to support and maintain breathing and circulation for a person who has stopped breathing (respiratory arrest) and/or whose heart has stopped (cardiac 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 IUD Definition
An IUD is an intrauterine device made of plastic and/or copper that is inserted into the womb (uterus) by way of the vaginal canal. One type releases a hormone (progesterone), and is replaced each year. ) and male methods (condom 1. condom - The protective plastic bag that accompanies 3.5-inch microfloppy diskettes. Rarely, also used of (paper) disk envelopes. Unlike the write protect tab, the condom (when left on) not only impedes the practice of SEX but has also been shown to have a high failure 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 en·trench also in·trench
v. en·trenched, en·trench·ing, en·trench·es
1. To provide with a trench, especially for the purpose of fortifying or defending.
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 Province 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 Residence 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 Province 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 Residence 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 Province Punjab 4581 Sindh 1749 NWFP 1136 Balochistan 382 Residence 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 Province Punjab 20.5 4581 Sindh 30.0 1749 NWFP 5.1 1136 Balochistan 6.3 382 Residence Total Urban 15.2 2338 Major Urban 12.9 1282 Other Urban 18.0 1056 Rural 21.6 5510 Education 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 Occupation 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 Province 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 Residence 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 Education 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 Age 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 Participate Background Have Final in Have Final Characteristics Say Decision Say Province 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 Residence 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 Education 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 Age 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 Age 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 Province 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 Residence 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 Education 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 Age 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 Province Punjab 5.5 100.0 4581 Sindh 3.3 100.0 1749 NWFP 1.6 100.0 1136 Baluchistan 3.8 100.0 382 Residence 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 Education 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 Neither 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 Background Characteristics Never Once or Twice More often Age 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 Residence 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 Province 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 Education 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 Discussed Background Characteristics Total Number Age 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 Residence Total Urban 100.0 2245 Major Urban 100.0 1235 Other Urban 100.0 1009 Rural 100.0 5339 Province Punjab 100.0 4429 Sindh 100.0 1680 NWFP 100.0 1102 Balochistan 100.0 372 Education 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 Number 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.