Q. Write a note on status of women’s studies in Pakistan and give your views on the autonomy/integration debate in Women’s Studies. (CSS-2016)
Women were a big portion of population around the globe and they had been deprived of economic and social development. As a weaker or second sex, the woman had been kept away from the main stream objectives in societies.
In Pakistan, women access to property, education and employment remained lower than men because Pakistani society was predominantly patriarchal and here women participation in society was low in percentage.
Despite improvement in Pakistan’s literacy rate, educational status of Pakistani women was the lowest in the world. The literacy rate of urban women was five times higher than that of rural women.
The emerging changes are the women studies considered the way that describes the status in the same manner in Pakistan and it is being represented by the whole world. The biggest approach of Women in Development approach is the ways that endorse the women studies and even the literature required for the reduction of gaps between social outcomes in both sex. The roles or responsibilities required at women and men perspective is being presented by the material required for the effective material diversification in Pakistan.
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The woman in developmental (WID) approach was the best that has been developed in the shape that is best suited for the different facet of this subject matter. The social duty of women is entirely different from the societal responsibility of men in which the diversification is going on and it will go at academic paradigm.
In Pakistan, universities were largely mainstays of ideologies that legitimized thirty years of military rule and a number of feminist academics established an institute of women’s studies independent of the formal structures of universities, as in the case of the Institute of Women’s Studies Lahore (IWSL), established in 1986. At IWSL, they offer Diploma and Certificate programs and engage in research and advocacy that is firmly connected with the women’s movement and addresses the lived experiences of patriarchy in the South Asian context. IWSL relies on a core staff and a number of visiting faculties for its resident course offerings. Not with standing, in recent years, WS/GS courses are now being taught in universities in Pakistan and a Master’s program on Women’s Studies has started in Karachi University.
Institute of Gender Studies Institute of Gender Studies had been established at Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU), Khairpur (Sind)
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been working since the perception inculcated in the Pakistan about the Gender Studies. Historically, the 1999 observed the way in which “Country WID profile-Pakistan” was the biggest platform to think about this mindset.
After the policies formulation for the gender in Pakistan, the subject matter goes with the proper and optimum implementation for those polices in the same manner as decided. The policy implementation is Pakistan is the way that show which policy was highly beneficial in rising the status of gender or else. The society is the thinking perspective in which the whole generation always showed that the probability of gap that has been existed over there, show that the country is required a proper functionality in lowering the gaps between the policy formulation and implementation.
The society is changing and this paradigm shift endorsed the changes during the development of individual among gender literature. This subject matter was consistent in change specifically from 1999 to 2007. This is the principle in which the policy environment was penetrating at platform of gender studies. The socio cultural context is the other mindset that was developed in the same manner so that gender equality could monitor. The customary practices are also monitored during the change from one level of study to another level. In the end, one can say that status of gender studies in Pakistan that was initiated with the boasted behavior is still continuing with the same pace.
Now women were being recognized as the agent of change in the world arena. They entered and excelled in the field of education, economic development, politics and administration, she added.
The subject Gender Studies and related theories evolved in the West and are generally being understood from those perspectives. The subject is being taught in Pakistani universities on the same pattern and with almost the same contents as in Europe and other countries. While knowing various perspectives is important, absence of content in indigenous context and by indigenous writers makes the whole exercise less relevant to the society. Pakistani society has its own peculiarities and there is need to develop indigenous material on the subject in local socio-cultural context keeping in view the requirements, aspirations, nature and behaviors of people of Pakistan as well as the belief and value system of the society.
Women or gender studies departments in the universities need to work closely with other departments and especially with the Islamic studies and law departments to promote inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches. This will help in understanding the gender-related issues in socio-cultural context and devise pragmatic approach for reformation.
Even in our society there are different shades of opinion on each issue despite the fact that they share a number of common features. All these shades should reflect in the indigenous discourse and agenda proposed to advance in achieving greater gender harmony should incorporate all such thought-sets.
There is a need to study different fields of knowledge in context of gender and highlight role of women in various fields of human activity. Number of examples of women taking active and essential part in developing and advancing human life even in non-traditional roles may be cited from our own tradition. These need to be highlighted and it needs to be underscored that the society can be constructed so as to ensure enhanced participation of women in life without disintegrating the institution of family.
Autonomy vs. Integration Debate in Gender Studies
Feminist theories of autonomy analyze the effects of internalized oppression and the circumstances of oppression on agents’ global and local autonomy. There is no consensus as to which theoretical position is correct. To some extent, the answer depends on intuitions about which view best captures the notion of agency that is one’s own. There is considerable consensus, however, that oppressive socialization and oppressive practices diminish autonomy and perhaps undermine it altogether. The relational conceptions of autonomy surveyed here are important contributions to theoretical debates on the nature of autonomy as well as to our understanding of how oppression interferes with the psychological states and social conditions required for autonomy.
The feminist and all school of thoughts even think about the way in which the gender and women studies are always seeking a change. The Feminist as the framework always thinks about the way in which the autonomy is very essential element. The Writer, thinkers and monitors who believed in the feminist mindset said that the understanding of autonomy is not so different that has been presented in the moral psychology at vast range. The moral psychology deals with the ability that the women and gender studies deals with the autonomy in the way that is highly centralized with the subject matter directly related with the way so that dealing during activities should be presented from institutional level to individual level.
The Autonomy in the study matter show that the people are not always negating the role of women in the success of the gender in the society as the subject matter.
Two main aspects of moral psychology showed that the feminist believed in the self-government and even with the self-direction. The self-government is the way in which the feminist thinks about the structure and the way of action required to do with the ability as needed to do. The Self-direction is the main aspect that show that how the self-direction as important as much the feminist mindset considering the way. The autonomous element in the women study that is highly considerable at motives, reasons and even values perspective constitutes by one. The feminist literature is now in paradigm shift in which the discussion goes on with the autonomy as required to initiates as much as required.
The person-hood is the way that negates the autonomy of women in which the centralized thinking could be danger for the rest of world. The atomistic person is the need of society in which the way to develop the heightened demands as regardless effort that has been transferred from one level of society to another level and still continue. The integration among the subject matter is the way that show about the way in which academic way to deal with is being presented by the way as it liked by the rest of world.
The atomistic is the way of planning in which the self-sufficient during the personality are required as being integrated with the way of action during the feminist mindset. The social relationships is another facet that thinks about the feminist mindset set and still the same autonomy and integration debate is being continued with the way of action as endorsing the different segments of society. In the end, one can say that the feminist’s mindset about the autonomy was transparent and still applicable in the 21st century as it was before the times.
In all cases, and feminism is not an exception in this respect, the institutional strategies for disciplinary developments are dependent upon historical moments, social and political contexts. The women’s, gender and feminist studies curriculum varies from institution to institution, depending on administrative arrangements and on the availability of faculty to teach courses. It is also the case that the strategies of introducing these studies have to be defined pertaining to the features of the very academic establishment in which they want to integrate themselves and/or towards which they try to maintain their autonomy.
The autonomy/integration debate is one of the most important features that shape feminist studies and refers to the strategies for promoting feminist scholarship in the academia. Integration means mainstreaming women’s perspective across different disciplines and across the existing university programs/departments, but it is also about increasing gender-awareness in all the issues addressed. It is a strategy of transforming the patriarchal institution from within. The counter argument goes to stress the risk of the dilution of the radical potential of feminist scholarship due to its integration into a conservative environment and the small amount of power on streamlining the (feminist) curriculum and on hiring staff from this domain. The strategy of autonomy ensures independent programs, a space where feminists of a great variety can engage in active dialogue and have control over material and human resources and knowledge production. It is a way of constructing a new discipline, and a new structure that challenges the traditional compartmentalization of the academia. The argument against this practice is about, Ghettoization about the risk of feminists being perceived as “man haters”.
Eventually, the debate is about different views on how (feminist) change could take place more effectively. But, once feminist diversity was acknowledged in terms of the dissimilarities between women of different ethnicity and sexual orientation, the discussion became also about the ways in which “white”, “black”, “lesbian”, “third world”, etc. feminisms should be integrated into each other. Ultimately, the aim become important and relevant in the academic sphere, to increase feminism’s credibility, respect and acceptance, but without losing the kind of marginality that allows for taking up a critical position. Whichever strategy would be chosen, in whatever combination would happen, in the institutionalization process in any kind of academic and broader social context, the main line to follow is empowering feminist knowledge and its producers. This may be accomplished by bringing in more women into the academic sphere, promoting them to decision-making positions, creating a more open space for women and men who promote feminist awareness, and transforming the traditional ways of disciplining scientific expertise.