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Gender Representation and Participation at University.

Byline: Muhammad Ramzan, Bushra Nawaz Khan, Shafqat Hussain and Ashfaque Ahmad Shah


The main purposes of the study were to analyse the gender participation among the workforce (teaching and administrative officer) in the universities, and compare the views of both gender from teachers and administrative officers about male and female participation. The study was descriptive in nature. A self-preparatory questionnaire was used to collect the data. Less than hundred university teachers and gazetted administrative staff from grade 17 and above were selected by using convenient sampling technique. A tool (section 2 part 3rd) in the toolkit of International Labour Organization (ILO) named GEMS was adapted. The tool was contextualised and the questionnaire was worked out and further modified before pilot testing. The results showed high reliability with alpha coefficient value 0.706.

The obtained data were tabulated, analysed and interpreted by using descriptive as well as inferential statistics. The analyses revealed the gender participation among the workforce in universities. Hence it is concluded that there was gender participation at university level in Punjab.

Key Words: Gender, ILO, Teaching staff, Discrimination


The main characteristic of humans and democracy is that every person is born free and identical in nobility and privileges (United Nations, 1949). Currently there are two types of societies, one is elite or developed communities and other are under developing nations. Gender biased situation may prevail in any culture, any organisation, or in any institution. Social standards, official structure, situational and dispositional factors as well as anti-social thoughts about group members' attribute can be one of the important factors that are responsible for gender biased situation. Some studies revealed that women have still under-representative in academic staff, especially on managerial level (Tahiraj, 2010; Hoyt, 2012) including technologically advanced countries.

Due to cultural norm and restriction it is very sensitive to have an open dialogue on fair chance, authority and on gender bias (Henze, Lucas, and Scott, 1998) and there is a dearth of literature on gender participation in university perspective. Certain studies exposed that gender identifies a arguable fact (Eveline, Bacchi, 2005; Rees 2005). Jacobs (1996) found three aspects: entrance, experience and outcome are separate in educational inequalities, because they are distinct to each other. Beddoes and Pawley (2013) also focused on how female faculty themselves conceptualize or seem sensible of marginalization in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

While the progress towards the world's women, it is required to construct related indication along with gender-disaggregated information (UNESCO, 2005). Participation is a broader idea that depends on circumstances. In a nut shell, in different situations, diverse affairs have done by different people (The World Bank, 1996).

Participation can take different forms, ranging from information sharing and consultation methods, to mechanisms for collaboration and empowerment that give stakeholders more influence and control (The World Bank, 1998). Participation is a procedure through which stakeholder persuades and shares control over progressive plan, decisions and capitals which changes them (The World Bank, 1994).

Participation is a procedure by which members of a community or institution contributes in decisions and all the actions that are connected to and that decide their roles and progress. So it is noted that when all the people of an organization actively participate /involve (represent) in all the stages that will be characterized as development in an institution. But there is no sharing of future decisions with their colleagues in higher education (Brooks, 2003). Participation is a compound and tough method to refining the existence of people; improper participation is an obstruction to attainment of objectives.

The words 'Participation' and 'Gender' encompass to convert into an element of advance conversation and performance since two decades. Supporter of these perceptions has asserted that they give permission for the indication of the most unrepresentative clusters (Akerkar, 2001).

Parcheta, Kaifi, and Khanfar (2013) concluded that women are represented approximately equivalent to men in workforce. Lower and middle level management for both the gender are also represented nearly equal. Channar, Abbassi and Ujan (2011) discovered less gender disparity is faced by females in private sector. Adding further, Bilkis, Habib and Sharmin (2010) found similar incidence of less inequality encountered by females in the public workplace. However, Sharma (2012) documented that gender inequalities may be occurring in the workplace. Because in the workplace, effort plays a major factor in determining authority and position for both sex.

Contrary to what was described in preceding paragraph Bilkis, Habib and Sharmin (2010) established that female assumed that they were in marginalized group in public sector. They also explained that around the world (developed and developing countries) gender inequality was being faced at every work place. This unfair condition existed due to low socioeconomic position of women, lack of devout aspects, improper ecological and psychological features.

The researchers like Walby, (1997), Lindsey, (2011) studied that in government or non-government world of work, women suffered because of the characteristics of their occupations. According to them, in the world of work gender segregation existed in its peak if compared to the period during their academic life. Changes have been emerging in the expansion of gender participation in developing states since last quarter of preceding century (The World Bank, 2011). Gender participation refers to equal representation of men and women in all the actions and decisions in an educational organisation i.e. a university. It includes awareness of gender related issues along with the efforts to cope with them. This study intends to investigate gender participation in an organization, i.e. university in Pakistan (developing country).

Therefore, current study was titled as "A review of gender participation a case of universities".

Gender participation in the world of work

During the period of unemployment male and female participation rate is increasing in the labour market, while men return to jobs over the period of time (Berggren, 2006). In governmental departments (such as occupational field as well as academic field) female contribution is enhanced day by day. The adult female is preferred managerial occupations rather than home chores. Women now represent 40% of the global labour force 43 percent of the worlds' agriculture. To eradicate the gender disparity could enhance 25% productivity in the labor force (The World Bank, 2011).

In salaried occupation female involvement are not just raised, but also modifies the form of gender disparity. Adult female with high qualification not just enrolled in the world of work, but also gained superior employment. The salary discrimination has also been decreased. After this entire progress new dilemma appeared that are concerned with aged women and single mothers who has not a part of the world of work (Walby, 1997; Lindsey, 2011). Gender dealing refers the association of superiority and inferiority among male and female in Pakistan. This sustained by severing sex segregation of employees. Segregation gaps in government and non-government areas, confine female's environmental flexibility. Gender disparity reduces female's entrance to their primary competence like academic, fitness and talent.

Women lack of entrance into academia, so they are underrepresented in the world of work as well as in industrial development. Inadequate distribution, of capital as well as deficiency in government commodities leads to female susceptibility. In the world of work gender segregation exists in its peak rather than in academic.

This phenomenon is linked to efficiently unrelated to education revealed at school and college level. In the private field, women are suffering in overloaded tasks, insufficient pay as well as lack of creative tasks. While in government sector women usually work in farming field and grasp inadequate pay, difficult duty, they performed in the business world of work. This week status of women leads to erotic annoyance in the government area. In nongovernment area they face home hostility. In government or non-government world of work, women suffer because the characteristics of their occupations.

Women social and fiscal safety is usually based on men and their relatives. In 2008 female's contribution in the age of 15 and over has suffered and low rate (21.8%) in the world of work. In south Asia and in Muslims regions Pakistan stands for least the countries of women's participation in the world of work particularly evaluation at worldwide in 2008. Pakistan situated at 51.7%. Now a day's those women are joining the world of workforce uncivilized as well as defenceless occupation class. Those female have crushed all hurdles to reach in the world of work; they also faced gender disparity at occupation position. Financial autonomy still vision most of the female employees (Labour Watch Pakistan, 2011).

Objectives of the Study

1. To analyse the gender participation among the workforce (teaching and administrative officer) in the universities.

2. To compare the views of male and female about gender participation.

3. To compare the views of teachers and administrative officers about gender participation.


Theoretical framework of the study was based on what Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill (2009) had proposed. Following is the snapshot of theoretical framework for present research project.

Research design

As the researcher intended to explain a specified condition in its entirety at university level and as cautiously as feasible (Fraenkel, Wallen,and Hyun, 2012) therefore the study was descriptive in nature. Survey strategy was used. In this design the researcher administered a survey through an adapted questionnaire to a small group of people (called the sample) to recognize the tendency in attitudes, opinions, behaviours, or characteristics of a large group of people (Creswell, 2012).

Population and sample

This research was delimited to University of Sargodha and Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan. The population of the study comprised all the teachers as well as administrative officer (grade 17 and above) of all public general universities in Punjab. All the teachers as well as administrative officer of University of Sargodha and Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan were the accessible population. The sample was selected from University of Sargodha and Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan. University teachers and administrative officer (gazetted officer) was the sample of the study. The researcher distributed 625 questionnaires at both universities, 114 (18.25%) questionnaires were returned and only (14.08%) 88 questionnaires had given proper response. Convenient sampling technique was used to select the sample for the study. It means that individuals conveniently available (Gay, Mills, and Airasian, n.d.) were included in the study.

Research instrument

The research instrument used in this study was a questionnaire adapted from the tool kit named as Gender mainstreaming strategies in decent work promotion: Programming tools prepared by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The original tool kit, acronym of which is GEMS Toolkit, was accessible on the following URL: documents/publication/wcms_143849.pdf (Date of Access: 2, July 2014). The GEMS Toolkit contained 12 practical tools organized under different topics. The researcher took the tool 3 (2nd questionnaire 3rd part) of GEMS Toolkit which addressed reviewing the gender participation in an organization. In present study the university was taken as the organization.

A panel of experts was requested to refine the questionnaire - its items, format and language, in order to make the questionnaires simple and understandable. The questionnaire was finalized in the light of feedback received from the experts. The instrument used for this study had shown a relatively high reliability with its alpha coefficient value 0.706.

Data analysis

Data were analysed through nonparametric descriptive (frequency, percentage and mode values) and inferential techniques (Chi-square and Mann Whitney U test) using SPSS. Categorical and ordinal data are analysed through nonparametric statistic, while interval or ratio data are to the parametric (Sheskin, 2004). When scores are measured on an ordinal scale, the median and mode is always appropriate (Healey, 2005; Gravetter and Wallnau, 2013). Therefore nonparametric (descriptive as well as inferential) statistics were thought to be suitable for analysing the data collected by the researcher for this study.

The table illustrated that university always (20.5% respondents) or sometimes (39.8% respondents) ensured media awareness of the gender dimensions of problems and successful strategies. Whereas 25% respondents indicated that it did never and 14.8% were not sure of the process. According to the respondents (43.2% expressed always and 38.6% sometimes), university involved both male and female staff at all levels in the design, execution and quality control of its programmes; whereas, 12.5% responded that university never did so, and only 5.7% were not sure of it.

The respondents believed (56.8% - always and 21.6% - sometimes against about 16% - never) that university gave both women and men of all relevant age groups, different income levels and ethnicities the opportunity to voice their views, identify their situation and prioritize their own needs. The respondents (20.5% said always and 31.8% sometimes against 26.1% said never) thought that university actively encouraged, recruited and mobilized male and female local leaders, and women and men of all relevant age groups to participate in the programmes and became change agents in their workplaces and communities.


Gender representation and participation

Table 1: Frequency table for gender representation and participation

N###Statement###Always###Sometimes###Never###Not Sure

###University ensure media awareness


###of the gender dimensions of###18(20.5%)###35 (39.8%)###22(25.0%)###13(14.8%)

7###problems and successful strategies.

###University involve both male and

1###female staff at all levels in the

###design, execution and quality control

###38(43.2%)###34 (38.6%)###11(12.5%)###5(5.7%)


###of its programmes.

###University give both women and

###men of all groups the opportunity to


###voice their views, identify their###50(56.8%)###19 (21.6%)###14(15.9%)###5(5.7%)

9###situation and prioritize their own



###recruit and mobilize male and female

###local leaders, and women and men of


###all relevant age groups to participate###18 (20.5%) 28 (31.8%)###23 (26.1%)###19 (21.6%)

0###in the programmes and become

###change agents in their workplaces

###and communities.

###University use gender- and culture-


###sensitive approaches to reach###11 (12.5%) 27 (30.7%)###31(35.2%)###19 (21.6%)

1###underrepresented groups.

###Mode value of all statements###1

More than 12% of the respondents said that university always used gender- and culture-sensitive approaches to reach underrepresented groups; and 30.7% believed it did sometimes against 35.2% who thought it did never. The mode value of all statements related to gender representation and participation was 1. So it concluded that most of the respondents said that gender representation and participation had been confirmed in the universities.

Values of Chi square in the table 3.2 revealed that all the statements (17, 18, 19 and 21) had same pattern except one (20) statement so the null hypotheses were rejected. Thus it was concluded that Gender Representation and Participation at universities had been confirmed. Though reflected in table 3.1, it was further confirmed here that university ensured media awareness of the gender dimensions of problems and successful strategies.

Table 2. Hypotheses testing on gender representation and participation




1###University ensure media awareness of the gender dimensions of


7###problems and successful strategies.

1###University involve both male and female staff at all levels in the


8###design, execution and quality control of its programmes.

1###University give both women and men of all groups the opportunity to


9###voice their views, identify their situation and prioritize their own needs.

2###University actively encourage, recruit and mobilize male and female

0###local leaders, and women and men of all relevant age groups to


###participate in the programmes and become change agents in their

###workplaces and communities.

2###University use gender- and culture-sensitive approaches to reach


1###underrepresented groups.

Chi square statistic in table 3.2 also established what frequency data in table 3.1 had revealed that university involved both male and female staff at all levels in the design, execution and quality control of its programmes. Although revealed in table 3.1, it was again endorsed that university gave both women and men of all groups the opportunity to voice their views, identify their situation and prioritize their own needs. Table 3.2 explained the same fact what had already been observed in table 3.1, that university used gender- and culture-sensitive approaches to reach underrepresented groups. The analysis of statement 20 (university actively encourage ... communities) in table 3.2 provided insufficient evidence upon what had been reported on it in table 3.1. Though reflected in table 3.1, it was further confirmed here that university used gender- and culture-sensitive approaches to reach underrepresented groups.

Discussion and Conclusion

The study was conducted to investigate gender participation a particular case of universities. The analysis and results of the data are discussed as under. Sizable majority of the participants affirmed that gender representation and participation at university by responding either always or sometimes on the scale for almost all the statements. The researcher further confirmed this finding through chi square analyses for almost all the statements.

In governmental departments both occupational and academic field, female contribution is improving gradually. The adult female is being preferred in managerial occupations. Now female are representing 40% of the global labour force (The World Bank, 2011). This study also found that there was gender participation in universities. In Pakistan women's importance and identical involvement in decision making is very essential for sound governance, poverty reduction and even for a feasible human resource improvement in a realm (Jabeen and Iqbal, 2010). According to Stevens and Lameon (2001) male and female as well as teacher and administrative staff have considered; participants of gender equality. It can thus be concluded they gender gap is reducing gradually.


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Author:Ramzan, Muhammad; Khan, Bushra Nawaz; Hussain, Shafqat; Shah, Ashfaque Ahmad
Publication:Journal of Educational Research
Article Type:Report
Date:Dec 31, 2015
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