Profile of the Rural Woman of Pakistan

Type Journal Article - The Lahore Journal of Economics
Title Profile of the Rural Woman of Pakistan
Volume 3
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1998
Page numbers 47-79
URL R-Zia.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
The majority of Pakistani womanhood belongs to the silent,
invisible peasantry in the rural areas. Essentially belonging to an
underdeveloped region, the rural female toils relentlessly from morning
till night. Her status is highly complex. In certain roles she is exalted; on
other counts her very being is negated, which, when translated to human
development indicators, depicts the profile of a woman with a very
disadvantaged status, in fact, one of the lowest in the world. This study
collects and collates data to present the profile of the rural female of
Pakistan. It clearly shows that without concrete moves to do so, the mere
acceptance and recognition of her contribution to society would do much
to elevate her status.
In Pakistan the role of the woman is strongly defined by religious
and cultural/social norms. Due to illiteracy and misinterpretation, the
latter is vastly perpetuated (UNESCAP 1997 p 3) under the garb of the
former. There is “widespread misconception about the place Islam accords
to women...” (Report of the Commission of Inquiry for Women 1997 p ii).
Pakistan is a classic case where steady economic growth has not been
accompanied by concurrent growth in the social sector. Within the
confines of this phenomenon, the rural population suffers from inequitable
distribution of resource availability and human development services. The
condition of rural women is not hard to conceptualise, given the above

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