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A gendered analysis of teaching employment in Pakistan

Khan, Mahwish

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Mahwish Khan
Associate Director - Organisation Studies


This thesis aims to identify the relationships, structures and actors shaping the gender composition of the teaching workforce in Pakistan, with attention to the societal (or macro) level and through the experiences and interpretations of women and of men employed in school teaching and in higher education. In addition, the thesis compares the rewards of teaching for men and for women in different sectors of education and at different levels, and explores women and men teachers’ perceptions of the status of the teaching profession. The methodological approach is that of a multi-level analysis, so as to understand women teachers’ experiences of employment in the education sector at different levels as well as those of male teachers within the broader cultural, political and economic context of Pakistan. The thesis draws on secondary data sources including published research, statistical employment data and documentary evidence to address state policy in respect to education provision and employment policies and practices in public and private educational institutions. The original data is collected through semi-structured interviews – 70 in total - with women and men school teachers and university faculty in Lahore.
The findings demonstrate that the feminisation of teaching is relative, not absolute in Pakistan. The private teaching sector is feminised to a larger extent and the public sector remains male-dominated. Women and men referred to teaching as respectable employment for women, which cohered with societal expectations of women and conserved the propriety of the household. Working hours in the teaching profession were thought of as accommodative of women’s ‘homemaker’ role and an incentive, for men, to hold multiple paid job-roles. Pay, while commonly thought of as inadequate for teachers in general, was typically better in the public sector compared to the private sector. The occupational status of teaching varied in respect to the level of teaching and sector. The public sector with standard pre-service credential requirements and career advancement opportunities is seen as a better employer compared to the private sector. On the one hand, the feminisation of teaching depicts gender segregation of society while associating teaching with ‘women’s work’. On the other hand, it presents women with an opportunity to gain entry into a socially and culturally respected and accepted profession while empowering them through reducing their economic dependability.


Khan, M. A gendered analysis of teaching employment in Pakistan. (Thesis). University of the West of England. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Publicly Available Date Jun 7, 2019
Keywords feminisation, education sector, Pakistan, gender, teaching
Public URL
Award Date Feb 1, 2017


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