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Title of Thesis

Community Attitude Towards Female Education in NWFP


Mamoon Khan Khattak

Institute/University/Department Details
Department of Social Work / University of Peshawar, Peshawar
Social Work
Number of Pages
Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and abstract of thesis)
Community, Attitude, strategies, Female, Education, development, NWFP

In the modem day world, the significance of females' education has been realized to a greater extent than ever before. Females can play a vital role in the development of a nation, which is possible only through their sound education. Educated females may get good foresight and perception of the societal phenomena and can play better reformatory role in the society. They can potentially involve themselves in nation building activities and can serve well in case of emergencies, and in this way they can be made active, useful and beneficial member of the society. Though the development is a multifactor phenomenon, however the females education is one of the major strategies for achieving it. In North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan overall female literacy rate is 19%. It is because of the reason that NWFP has a conservative society having strict and in-conducive cultural values, which has made the opportunities of education and development for females as limited.
The main objective of this study was to find out the community attitude, its underlying causes and the effects of the community attitude upon female education in this province. The main hypothesis developed for the subject study was that the community has negative attitude towards female education, which has negatively affected the female education in the region. On the basis of existing literature and general community view all around the world it was also assumed that all attitudes have certain inclinations, predisposition, feelings and beliefs. In this connection socio-cultural values were assumed to be the basic reasons for this negative attitude toward female education in such a culturally conservative region.
The interview was used as a method of data collection. For this purpose an interview schedule was prepared in accordance with the objectives of the study. It was close ended and comprised of 78 questions. Before conducting the interview, the purpose of the study, its need and importance was briefly explained to the respondents. This study was conducted all around the NWFP, in both rural and urban areas. For the convenience, ii overall representation and uniformity of the results/findings, all the four administrative regions of NWFP namely Southern, Northern, Central and Northwestern were included in the study. The sample size was selected proportionately from each region on the basis of its population through various non-probability sampling techniques. Further, the respondents were males selected from the age group of 25 to 55 years and of married status, because this category was assumed to have a more influential role over females in the community. Total 600 respondents were thus interviewed. Standard statistical methods were applied for data analysis.
The results of the study indicated that the hypotheses developed for the study were found as correct. The community was having negative attitude towards females' education. It was not in favour of educating the females. The community's such attitude has negatively effected the females' education. The community due to different reasons did not want to see the females as educated and empowered. The community wanted to preserve its values, and educating females was not a social value. The community was unwilling to change stereotypes prevailing in society, which has retarded females' education. Due to stagnant values and attitudes, the social life of the community was at a standstill, rather than thinking oneself- it was subject to circumstances. Majority of the community people were contented on the absence of females education. As females education in virtue is to be supported by the community, while in actual the NWFP community has retarded females education. They (lid not want to change the present status of females. In short, the lack of females' education was termed as natural and inevitable by the community. Yet this law is cited as "a natural law of society" to discourage sympathy for the unfortunate i.e. females. Even to talk about females education was perceived as to stir-up trouble. The community's negative attitude and in-cooperation with females' educational implementers has served as a cause for retarding the process of females' education promotion. The educational implementers have faced problems due to un-consideration of the social factors of the respective community while working on females education. The community people did not want to change the values, which their elders have practiced. The religion-Islam was made a gratuitous source of exploiting females' rights especially for education. The females' roles in the society were restricted i.e. the females do not have economic/job opportunities so the community thought that the females need not to be educated. The community people have feared that the females' honour will not be secure if they go out of their homes for acquiring education. The community perceived females as deficient as compared to males in terms of psychosocial characteristics.
The rural and the urban community have had a difference in their attitudes toward females' education. But this was also fact that this difference was more of number, less of kind. The rural community has shown comparatively added number of respondents for negative attitude towards females' education. They have a lesser amount of realization for importance of their involvement and cooperation for promotion of females' education. They perceived that females could never play the roles, which the males were playing in the society. In both the communities the females due to low literacy level have assumed a lower socioeconomic status, while in the rural community the situation was more miserable of females.
The society's cultural element of females' psychosocial deficiency was of disadvantage for females and through this the females were disadvantaged educationally, culturally, economically, politically, religiously and socially. It is fact that through the process education the individuals are not only educated but are also empowered and gain sense of independence. Whereas, the majority of females are illiterate in our society and this low literacy level was one of the major causes for their low socioeconomic status in the society. There was a distinct gap in socioeconomic status of males and females where the females were at disfavour.
The "Karl Marx's- The Deficient Feminine Nature Theory" which served as theoretical framework of research, was also tested for its validity through findings of the research study. It has been proved as a correct explanation of community's discriminatory attitude towards females and their education, in the context of NWFP community. A new theory was generated which was titled as "The Dismal Circle of Femaleism" which has advanced the ideas given in the Karl Marx's above said theory. Based on the findings of this research study, suggestions are provided that how the community's attitude can be made positive and participatory for promotion of female education in NWFP and in the likely communities unities.

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