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Male Dominance over Female in Pakistan

Submitted by on December 17, 2017 – 6:45 PM

femWe usually think that we are moving with the society however in reality our thinking is still static.  We are compelled to follow the rules and accept the roles set by society for getting acceptance and appraisal from society and for peaceful survival.  In Pakistani society, male role is getting the privilege of being superior and women are playing a submissive role.


Women are considered as another half of man but they are not half they are the one who need equal rights and opportunities which man relishes. Women must be valued as they contribute equally in society (Ahmed, 2009). Women holds the almost 50% of the population of Pakistan(Sharif, Nosheen, & Idrees, 2012), still  Pakistani society is considered male dominant society which defines that men embrace power in all important institutions of society” and “women are deprived of having access to such designations”(Sultana, 2012).

According to world economic gender gap report (2014), Pakistan is 141 out of 142 countries among worst places for women means considered as second to last in worldwide report. (Bhattacharya, 2014), therefore I intended to write on this topic because its increasing rate is a precursor for the violence against women and it needs to be addressed.


Social or family pressure is considered one of the important factors to stay in abusive relationships with their partners (Bell & Naugle, 2006). Most of the time women experiences to stay in abusive relationships and bear consequences of being a part of male dominant society also are bound to obey social and ancestral norms. Dawn News presented a painful story of a girl  living in a village of Pakistan, she was forced to marry at a very early age of 16 years, and since the day she got married she endures a series of painful attacks by her husband, eventually she left her husband’s home and requested her parents to support her in taking divorce but her father and brother told her to compromise as their parents believed that a divorced girl is a curse for an honorable family. She had forwarded this issue to village’s decision body; they also took decision that she must go back to her husband’s home immediately. She was compelled to obey her parents and societal norms. After an acid attack by her husband she presented her case to police but police also avoided to take action. She wanted to stand up for their rights but at each and every step society encouraged male’s wrong act and discouraged women efforts.


Now the question arises that what are the possible causes behind the male dominance in Pakistan?  Illiteracy is a leading cause of male dominance. Education and knowledge brings empowerment, increase self-esteem and provides respect and recognition in society. In Sindh women’s education is greatly affected especially in rural areas which consequently affecting their value in society (Khushnood, Umer, & Gill, 2015).  The link between socio-economic status and male dominant society is also explained that more gender disparity is seen more in the countries with low socio-economic status because the people of that country start perceiving male as an asset and the only way of income. (Jayachandran, 2015).Another important cause is stereotyping which creates gender disparity by focusing on stereotypic attributes and neglecting the situational attributions. These were the most important contributing factors which were leading to conservative minds and eventually creating basis for male dominant society (Cundiff & Vescio, 2016).


The Pakistani system follows the concept of “patriarchy” which refers to male domination and female subordination and it is a prime hindrance to women development and leads to women oppression. Aristotle called females as a “mutilated male” (someone who are without souls) (Sultana, 2012).


The concept of patriarchy is not only impacting women’s physical health but affecting social and mental health as well. In Pakistan male infants enjoys more healthy nutrition and access to health care than female infant. Study indicates that Pakistani women are more prone to have Sexual harassment, domestic violence, dowry deaths, early pregnancy, tuberculosis and osteoporosis (Nasrullah,2012). Pakistani women are given less opportunity for education than Pakistani male which leads to low self-esteem, and less recognition in society however hindering social health of women.


The study shows that the rate of unemployed women is much higher than unemployed men in Pakistan which leads to economic crises and given less privilege by society (Begum Sadaquat & Sheikh (2011) there are many effects seen on mental health as well. A study shows that, in south Asian countries gender inequality is a leading cause of depression and anxiety in women. The circumstances of south Asian women are playing a pivot role in affecting mental health (Zahidie & Jamali, 2013).  Gender disparity is a major cause of attempting suicide in women in countries with patriarchal concepts (Qasim, Mehboob, Akram, & Masrour, 2015). This shows that there are various hazardous effects of male dominance society on health.


Male dominant society is a major cause for almost all the violence against women so for eliminating this problem we need to unite and try together to eradicate this problem from our society. We can take actions at many levels, as an individual level (as a nurse) we can maintain equality while giving care; we can provide culturally sensitive care to the women. Stop discriminating men and women in any context. On community level we can give awareness to families regarding causes and how to eradicate those causes and help women in finding potentials in themselves which will promote empowerment.


On institutional level awareness sessions  can be given on importance of gender equality, rights of women, ways of using community resources for problem solving, creating courage to fight for their own rights. As a society we can stop discriminating men and women and respect everyone’s ability will bring positive change in society. Government can reinforce to obey the rights of women and can create a safe and secure environment for women to survive.


Patriarchal society is hindering women of Pakistan in almost all aspects of life but this can be overcome by empowering women and eliminating the major causes leading to gender disparity from the society and promoting equality in society for both men and women.


  1. Ahmed, Z. (2009). Pakistani Feminist Fiction and the Empowerment of Women.Pakistaniaat: A Journal Of Pakistan Studies, 1(2), 90-102.
  2. Sharif, I., Nosheen, F., & Idrees, M. (2012). Women Empowerment in Pakistan with Special Reference to Islamic Viewpoint: An Empirical Study. Pakistan Journal Of Social Sciences, 32(1), 171-183.
  3. Bhattacharya, S. (2014). Status of Women in Pakistan. J.R.S.P, 179-198.
  4. Bell, K. & Naugle, A. (2006). Understanding Stay/Leave Decisions in Violent Relationships: A Behavior Analytic Approach. Behavior And Social Issues, 14(1), 21.
  5. Sultana, A. (2012). Patriarchy and Women’s Subordination: A Theoretical Analysis. Arts Fac. J, 4(0).
  6. Khushnood, E., Umer, G., & Gill, F. (2015). Comparative Analysis of Male and Female Education In Sindh Province of Pakistan. Grassroots, 49(1), 79-92.
  7. Jayachandran, S. (2015). The Roots of Gender Inequality in Developing Countries. Annual Review Of Economics, 7(1), 63-88.
  8. Afzal, M., Butt, A., Akbar, R., & Roshi, S. (2013). Gender Disparity in Pakistan: A Case of Middle and Secondary Education in Punjab. Journal Of Research And Reflections In Education, 7(2), 113 -124.
  9. Muazzam Nasrullah, J. A. (2012). Gender Inequalities and Poor Health Outcomes in Pakistan:A Need of Priority for the National Health Research Agenda. Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, 273-274.
  10. Afzal, M., Butt, A., Akbar, R., & Roshi, S. (2013). Gender Disparity in Pakistan: A Case of Middle and Secondary Education in Punjab. Journal Of Research And Reflections In Education, 7(2), 113 -124.
  11. Qasim, N., Mehboob, S., Akram, Z., & Masrour, H. (2015). WOMEN’S LIBERATION: THE EFFECTS OF PATRIARCHAL OPPRESSION. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 382-393.
  12. Zahidie, A., & Jamali, T. (2013). An Overview of the Predictors of Depression Among. Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan , 574-580.

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