Gender Differences in Education: Are Girls Neglected in Pakistani Society?

Theme 1   The economic inequality.

Researchers and academics.

This paper determines education attainment and current enrollment by income and socioeconomic characteristics as well as examine the impact of educational and gender inequalities by using Pakistani survey data from 2005-2016. It also attempts to deal potential endogeneity by exploiting exclusion restrictions of income shock and family background characteristics in household’s income. Findings of ordered logit model reveal educational transition is higher from primary to secondary level in which personal attributes and household infrastructure are favorable for girls. In contrast, results from logit model suggest that income per capita, educated members, digital access and provincial heterogeneity significantly improve boys’ current enrollment. However, after controlling for endogeneity findings indicate lower education attainment and current enrollment for girls as compared to boys because of three important factors. Firstly, minimum returns associated with female education as fragile asset, particularly, in poor and middle-income families with strong patriarchy, however marital status might be ignored. Secondly, high cost associated with education and differ by gender indicate limited supply of education with fewer colleges and universities for girls. Lastly, education accessibility highly depends on cultural restrictions on females’ mobility for out-of-home education, especially, in tribal and rural areas. Meanwhile, standard deviation and Gini coefficient significantly decrease girls’ education. Similarly, gender gap in girls’ education likely to reduce household’s income comparatively 7 times higher than boys do. While, there are 61 and 41 percent explained gender disparities in education attainment and current enrollment by Oaxaca decomposition; however, most of the variations remain unexplained. This includes strong patriarchy, son preference and higher cost of education associated with girls’ education. The education incentives are higher for boys as members of the households, occupations and provincial variations highly motivated for their education attainment and current enrollment. Findings suggest government interventions to reduce gender gap by reforming educational strategies and uplifting socioeconomic position of females in the country. It urges to develop educational framework from primary to tertiary education that incorporate committees by collaboration of parents and teachers in order to get rid gender biased syllabus and curriculum designs.

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