Gender Discrimination in Higher Education in Pakistan: A Survey of University Faculty

*Dr. Faculty of Education, University of Education, Lahore,Pakistan.
** Dr. Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Pakistan.


Problem statement: Gender disparity is a worldwide phenomenon. This disparity is not only with respect to opportunities and resources but also in rewards, and exists in all regions and classes. Gender disparity exists in the field of education as well. Females experience overt and subtle gender discrimination to some extent nearly at every stage of their career. Males represent the majority of the faculty of higher education institutes across the globe. Managerial positions are usually held by males, who not only have more decision making power but also have more opportunities of social networking. Women have to achieve a successful career at the cost of their family life.

Purpose of the study: The present study aimed at exploring the current situation regarding gender discrimination in the higher education institutes of Pakistan.

Method: Gender equality has been investigated by a questionnaire survey of 180 faculty members on the five aspects of the working environment, namely Decision Making, Professional Development, Utilization of Resources, Academic Affairs and Job Satisfaction.

Results and findings: Two-way analysis of variance shows that post-level is the strongest significant contributor to the differences in the five scores from the equality questionnaire. Gender contributes only in Decision Making, where females tend to be excluded.

Conclusions and recommendation: There are significant differences in perceptions of gender equality that are attributable to the respondent’s post-level. Those at the higher levels see less inequality. Those at lower levels, especially lecturers, see more. With a high proportion of females at the lecturer level, this can appear as a straight forward gender polarization of views, as happens with Professional Development, Academic Affairs and Job Satisfaction. The fact that the concurrent introduction of post-level into the analyses removes the significance of the gender variable points to the impact of the relatively few promoted females, who do not see inequalities in Professional Development and Academic Affairs. These promoted females will have high Job Satisfaction scores because of their achievement in acquiring their positions. This suggests real movement in Pakistani higher education in the direction intended by the adoption of national equality policies.

Keywords: Attitudes; Gender Discrimination; Higher Education; Decision Making, Job Satisfaction, Academic Affairs.