Pakistani Couples: Different Productive and Reproductive Realities?

Zeba A. Sathar, Shahnaz Kazi


Gender systems depict several dimensions of the relations
between men and women across different social settings. Mason (1995) has
described the complexity of gender systems that encompass concepts such
as women’s standing, empowerment, the sexual division of spheres and the
rather widely used concept of women’s status. Gender systems in Pakistan
are posited to be unequal in favour of men, because of strong
patriarchal systems, which ordain that men and older persons make all
major decisions. As a result, women’s status is argued to be low in most
dimensions: poor educational attainment, few economic opportunities
apart from family based employment which is largely unpaid and the
virtual seclusion of women from the public spheres of life especially
those involving financial transactions. Spheres of life are quite
separate with men having the primary responsibility of breadwinning and
women to be primarily responsible for within household routine chores
such as those involving cleaning, cooking, animal care and child

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