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Keywords: Social sciences
Social sciences
Groups of people
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Pakistan is among the countries where gender discrimination in all fields of life is apparent. Women’s rights are violated and exploited. Moreover, women do not have their voice or independent opinion; even they are not given the right to decide about their life. Persisting socio-cultural norms and patriarchal structure of Pakistani society restricts women’s mobility, their participation in paid job and also deprive them from their inherited property. It is common perception that nations cannot make remarkable progress in any fields of life until their women are exploited and discriminated. Therefore, there is a need of empowering women for uplifting their status as well as the status of their family, community and nation. Keeping in view, the significance of the issue, present study was conducted. Main objectives of the study were to measure the empowerment level of women in study area and to identify the socio-cultural factors that influence women’s empowerment especially in domestic sphere. For this purpose a sample of 550 married women of reproductive age (15-49) excluding widows and divorced were taken from two randomly selected districts (Faisalabad and Rawalpindi) of Punjab Province of Pakistan. Information regarding demography, household, locality and other socio-cultural variables was collected through a structured interview schedule. In order to understand the complexity of the phenomenon of women’s empowerment, key informant interviews were also conducted by using semi structured interview schedule. Different statistical tools i.e. mean, standard deviation, bar charts, t-distribution, chi square test for association, gamma statistic, Somer’s d statistic, correlation coefficient, one way analysis of variance technique, and multiple regression analysis, were employed to systematically present the information, and to develop the relationship among the various explanatory variables and dependent variable (women’s empowerment). In order to observe the causality of relationship between the variables, multiple linear regression model was developed. The univeriate/descriptive analysis indicated that majority of women had lack of resources, their paid job involvement was negligible, they were less educated as compared to their husbands, and had low level of awareness about their rights. Their political interest and group participation were not encouraging. They had less decision making ability, less control over resources, less mobility and lower level of participation in family discussions. In contrast, they had moderate level of social networking and were receiving good cooperation of their husbands in daily affairs. The analysis based on key informant interviews revealed that safe and secure future of women ensures their empowerment. Moreover the inference based on bivariate analysis indicated that majority of variables included in the study were statistically associated with women’s empowerment. However, regression analysis identified thirteen variables for their significance influence on women’s empowerment. Among them type of family; family headship; number of respondent’s brothers; observing veil; paid job involvement of respondents; awareness about the rights; social networking; husband’s cooperation; political participation; conjugal age; and respondent’s education showed highly significant influence on women empowerment with p < 0.001. On the other hand variable; ‘local level facilities’ and amount of ‘dowry and property received by the respondents from their parents showed significant influence on women’s empowerment at 0.01 < p < 0.05. Value of adjusted R 2 for the regression model was 0.516. The inference of the study suggests dynamic change in female education can bring greater knowledge and self-esteem. This study also highlights the importance of active participation of government and non government agencies for mobilizing and organizing women groups, and thereby developing their awareness level, political interest, inherent skills and earning capabilities.
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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