Cultural Saga: Does Pakhtun Culture Impede Women Employment?

Article excerpt

Abstract

Aim of this research article embodies the measurement of attitude of teaching faculty in Peshawar University to assess cultural impediments with reference to women employment. A sample size of 210 respondents (university male teachers with different cadres) was randomly selected through proportional allocation basis. Chi square (x2) and Kendall's tau-b statistics were used to determine the level of association and strength and direction of relationship. Majority of the respondents i.e. 199(94.8%) opined that illiteracy serves as barrier to women employment in Pakhtun society, family income is controlled by male in Pakhtun culture (94.3%), households men mostly decide over the spending of money earned by female (63.3%), female ratio is less as compared to men in Pakhtun society 209(95.5%) and the utilization of savings is usually determined by male members of the family (64.3%). Moreover, at bivariate level a positive (T^sup b^ = .166) with significant relationship (P<0.05) was discovered between female ratio is less as compared to men amongst Pakhtun with women employment. Similarly, a positive (T^sup b^ = .166) with significant relationship (P<0.05) was discovered between undue religious injunctions serve as barrier to women paid jobs and women employment. Less number of women to men at household composition with fallacies based on poor interpretation of religious injunctions, where women has been misunderstood under the prevalent cultural shadows with little autonomy in society and economy based on strong patriarchal system, was found as major impediments to women participation in job market. Scholarly endeavors are recommended as remedial paths jointly devised by religious and cultural custodians.

Key Words: Women Employment, Cultural Constraints, Pakhtun Cultural Saga, Attitude Measurement, Feminist Perspectives.

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

Introduction

Working status of a woman is defined as doing job either permanent or on daily wages basis is considered as working woman through periodical payment (Safdar, 1992). Women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, earn only 10 percent of the world's income, own less than 1 percent of the world's property, make up two-thirds of the estimated 876 million adults worldwide, who cannot read or write (Usman, 2009). In Pakistan, women are working in various fields but their participation is very limited. Their share in the occupational group of professional and related workers was about 18 percent in 1998. Most of them are either house servants or in nontraditional areas like engineering, banking, computer etc (Shah, 2000) with major focus on teaching and medicines as reflected in 1998 census, where nearly one third of all the teachers and one fifth of all the doctors were women. The demand for women in these categories is itself the result of segregation in society and the subsequent need for female patients as reported by Geeta (1985) that due to their limited role recognition, women are unable to perform as of men. Career conceptualization is mainly sex based thus having lesser opportunities for women to adopt any particular career (Philips, 1993). Mostly a stigma is associated to women employment as it usually hurt the male ego. This could be attributed to dominancy in Asian societies (Banerjee, 1995; and Vinnicombet and Colwill, 1995).

Industrial revolution has signified the role of a woman both at rural and urban level of a society to work shoulder to shoulder with men to avoid the concept that men are meant for paid work in public sphere while women for unpaid jobs confined to household chores as private to replace the past cultural perspectives of different societies towards an open market economy (Hattery, 2001; and Boris and Lewis, 2006). Apart from this dynamic shift, women, as an entity with both biological and social characteristics, this role naturally assigned i.e. a mother role is also being performed by her across the globe (Jeoldgreat, 2010). …

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