Year: 2021

Author: Fazal, Shawana

Type of paper: Individual Paper

Gender equity has been an important consideration in education at various levels. This issue is of particular concern in the context of developing countries, where males often have better chances of access to higher education. Lack of gender equity at the higher education level also have implications for women in terms of impacting their socio-economic status in the society.  The current study, therefore, aimed to explore perceptions of female university teachers and students about issues related to gender and equity in higher education in Pakistan. The study also explored female university teachers’ and students’ perceptions regarding policies related to gender equity and their practical implications. Lastly the study explored respondents’ perceptions about factors impacting gender equity in higher education. The study adopted qualitative, exploratory research design. The sample consisted of ten female university teachers and ten female university students from two provinces of Pakistan. The sample was selected using purposive sampling technique. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and was analysed using thematic analysis.  The study revealed prevalence of gender inequity at the higher education level. Gender stereotyping, gender-based allocation of academic and professional roles, cultural taboos, lack of equitable access to higher education and moral policing of the female gender were identified as main issues impacting gender equity at the higher education level. Besides, it came out that there was gap between gender-based policy formulation and implementation. Findings always revealed lack of awareness regarding gender-based issues on the part of university students.Findings of this study have important implications for policy makers, university administrators, and higher education authorities in terms of developing and implementing higher education policies aimed at creating a more gender equitable educational environment in Pakistan. The study may also have implications for other countries with similar contexts.