Socio-Cultural and Economic Impediments of Inequality in Provision of Educational Right to Female: A Case of Southern Punjab (Pakistan)
Inequality in provision of educational right to girls is the leading rationale of their exclusion from the mainstream. If the marginalized sections of the society such as minorities, disabled and girls are given education as their indispensable human right then this will escorts towards their social inclusion in education sector. Enrollment ratios of girls lag far behind than boys at all levels of education in Pakistan. Worldwide literacy rates for adult men far exceed from women. Education enhances labor market productivity and income growth, yet educated women have beneficial effects on social well-being of the family. The social benefits from women's education ranges from fostering economic growth to extending the average life expectancy among female population. Despite these facts the issue of educational right for girls has been denied in the educational policies of Pakistan since 1947. In Pakistan women have to face biasness in acquiring quality education. Gender discrimination is explicit from Economic Survey of Pakistan (2010) where the men are 65% literate and the women are 45% literate. In Southern Punjab (Pakistan) rigid cultural patterns, poverty, prejudice, stereotypic expectations from girls education, restricted movement of girls, precarious traveling and lack of female teachers confines the girls from acquiring quality education. The respondents (N=600) were interviewed from affiliated schools (n=100 out of N=520) from BISE through multistage sampling technique from Multan and Khanewal districts. The results of the research illustrated that parental preference to boys education, rigid cultural patterns, cost of schooling (direct and indirect) and low socio-economic status of the parents were the foremost determinants of social exclusion of girls from education sector of Southern Punjab (Pakistan). Despite these determinants family size, prejudice, patriarchal structure of society, limited involvement of girls in decision making process and rigid values allied with girls education are the major constraints that restricted the access of girls from education sector of Southern Punjab (Pakistan).
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