Uneducated and Unhealthy: The Plight of Women in Pakistan

Tassawar S. Ibraz, Anjum Fatima

Abstract


The title of this paper is self-explanatory. It discusses
underinvestment in female education and health and the deleterious
effects this has on not only women themselves but on the future
generation which women bring forth and nourish. This underinvestment is
more pronounced in the rural areas of Pakistan where the bulk of the
population resides and where low levels of education, lack of awareness
and access to medical facilities pose a major threat to the development
of a healthy and productive society. Combining macro-level data on
population growth rates, female mortality and literacy with two
micro-level studies based on extensive participant observation and
in-depth interviewing in two Punjabi villages, the data presented in the
paper aims to sensitise the readers of the realities of women's social
existance and of the complexities of female neglect specifically in
terms of education and health. The paper also highlights some of the
dominant cultural notions regarding women which become instrumental in
hampering women's access to education, information and other structures
of power. The confinement of women to narrow domestic and powerless
domains has far-reaching and negative consequences of which statistics
portray a picture.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v32i4IIpp.905-915

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