Educated females play an important role in the social and economic development of a country. The aim of the study was to assess the problems facing females before entering higher education, and then after education when joining professions.
Using a higher education survey questionnaire, data were collected from 2188 female respondents including students (n=2018) and teachers (n=170) from government colleges and universities spread over four districts of the Pakistan province of Punjab. Results showed females who do succeed in getting a higher education are then exposed to a male dominant culture in the workplace. This re-inforces the socio-cultural norms of the country at large; causes conflict between professional and cultural obligations, and is linked with de-motivation. Four types of female have been identified who respond to the socio-culture in stereotypical ways. System successes have survived discrimination inherent in the wider society with family support. System fighters, lacking whole-hearted family support, perceive discrimination strongly but have an intrinsic motivation that drives them on. Motivated realists appear to have accommodated to the socio-cultural practices of Pakistan, and have planned how to 'beat the system' to eventually become system successes. Neutral acceptors can be contrasted with system fighters as they appear to lack intrinsic motivation, accept the external socio-cultural world with minimal challenge.
Implications for Research and Practice:
The results of the study provide guidelines to the policy makers and administrators to make amendments in the higher education policy where female can avail more opportunities to get higher education and social recognition as they have the significant contribution in the development of a sustainable society.
Keywords: Higher education, Socio-cultural factors, faculty, female students