Women’s Empowerment: A Two-Tier Approach Analysis of Pakistani Youth
The Fourth World Conference on Women proposed a conceptual shift from the ‘Women in Development’ (WID) paradigm to the ‘Gender and Development’ (GAD) approach, a key strategy to reduce inequalities between men and women and bringing into mainstream economy of a country. The present study used a two-tier approach of ‘public-private’ sphere to investigate gender equity through greater decision making autonomy and economic independence of females. The sample consisted of Master degree (post-graduate) students between 20-24 years, enrolled in University of the Punjab, Lahore. Mixed- methodology approach was deployed and self-constructed questionnaires were used to collect data. In-depth interviews were also conducted with parents. The study concludes that young females in higher education in Pakistan are gradually getting the power of making decisions regarding their own matters as well as their family at both public and private spheres. The young females are operating their personal bank accounts independently, taking decisions in choice of institute for their higher studies, spending a day/night at a friend’s place, buying things like car, furniture, other items for family etc. Moreover, on the pretext of financial security and economic independence, parents as well as young males were found in favor of young females to pursue professional careers.