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The Explorer Islamabad: Journal of Social Sciences

ISSN: 2411-0132(E), 2411-5487(P)


Vol-2, Issue (2): 52-57
www.theexplorerpak.org

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT: ENDORSEMENT OF RIGHT TO CAREER DEVELOPMENT


AMONG MASID TRIBAL WOMEN
Nayab Gul
Lecturer: Department of Psychology, Islamia College (Chartered University), Peshawar
Corresponding Author:
Ms Nayab Gul
Islamia College (Chartered University), Peshawar
nayab2hon@gmail.com
Abstract: The present study focuses on the perceptions of Masid tribal women regarding endorsement of
womens right to career development in their culture. Furthermore it describes the aspects of womens control
over her professional life and the barriers hindering her progress. Standardized self constructed questionnaire was
used and sample consisted of women from Masid tribe belonging to FATA. Convenient sampling techniques were
employed for data collection and 50 women, with age range from 19 to 34 were being interviewed. The overall
analysis of the result shows that tribal women has access to career development opportunities and the overall
culture supports the earning role of women. As a result the tribal women comply with cultural norms and opt for
traditional career choices. Women enjoyed financial individualism but cant independently progress in career.
Mobility and gender discrimination were considered to be the barriers in the career development among women.

Key Words: Career development, Women Empowerment, Masid, South Waziristan (FATA),
Endorsement, Patriarchal Society
INTRODUCTION
A career is broadly defined as a lifelong process of
work-related activities that include both objective
and subjective aspects (Hall 2002). Career
development is defined as an on-going series of
stages characterized by unique concerns, themes
and tasks. The career model so far has focused on
the studies conducted on the men work force
(Osipow and Fitzgerald 1996) so it fails to define
and construct the role women in professional life.
Bearing in mind womens increasing economic
participation and their contribution to national
economies worldwide (Omair 2010), it seems
necessary to incorporate womens values,
attitudes, contexts and life experiences into our
understanding of careers (Lamsa and Hiillos
2008).
Since women generally continue to perform
primary
sphere
responsibilities
while
simultaneously juggling the demands of their
workforce
participation,
their
career
development issues, concerns, tasks, and
responsibilities, molded by the work-family
pressures they experience, may be distinctly
different from those of men (O'Neil and Bilimoria
2005). A large proportion of the contemporary
literature on womens careers also suggests that
women encounter conflict between their work
and family roles (Mainiero and Sullivan 2005;

White 1995), and that they are often forced to


choose between upward career mobility or family
stability, or even having a family at all particularly
in patriarchal society (Mavin 2001). More
specifically, it suggests that certain contexts can
implicitly or explicitly restrict womens efforts to
seek out career alternatives that are less
traditional (Stead 2004) thus limiting their rights
to career development.
Noor (2004) observes that state of Pakistan, due
to many socio-cultural and economic reasons,
couldnt successfully protect women rights in
general and career rights in particular. The
endorsement of womens right to career
development has been considered as contrary to
the cultural norms and general Islamic teachings
in Pakistani society (Weiss 2004). More
specifically some of the cultural norms in
Pakistani society are considered to be
impediment in the way of women empowerment.
In one of the study showed how socio-cultural
aspects of Pakhtoon culture are hindering the
way of women empowerment (Naz and Chaudhry
2011).
It is a common conception that women belonging
to South Waziristan (FATA), particularly from
Masid tribe are marginalized and deprived of
their basic human rights. The patriarchal system,
special status of FATA and customary practices

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are considered to be the potential impendent of


the crisis. Among these, patriarchal system and
customary practices are thought to be the
cardinal forces hindering the process of women
empowerment (Khan 2008). It is generally
believed that patriarchal system and customary
practices takes its fuel from Pakhtoon-Wali.
Pakhtoon-wali is the code of honor that is strictly
adhered to by the tribal community. Its
patriarchal nature gives dominance of men over
women folks, thus limiting the choices for women
particularly those concerned with career
development(Richard 2010). But the growing
number of tribal women work force presents a
different outlook, inciting the need for observing
the true status of endorsement of the right to
career development among tribal society.
According to UDHR Everyone has the right to
work, to free choice of employment, to just and
favorable conditions of work and to protection
against unemployment. Similar clause enforcing
the right to career development has also been
part of Constitution of Pakistan. As Pakistan
became state party to number of gender-focused
UN human right instruments, it started efforts in
extending the provisions of these rights to
women (Weiss 2004). Since then, local efforts has
been made to articulate frame work of the right
to career development among women. Some of
its elements are bowered from UN documents on
women empowerment including right to
determine choices, having access to opportunities
and gaining control over ones life. In the present
study these elements are considered as to
provide a general frame work for the
endorsement of right to career development
among women.
Furthermore it focuses on the perceptions of
these tribal women regarding endorsement of
womens right to career development in their
culture. It is assumed that tribal women have
access to career opportunities and culture plays
important role in the endorsement of these
rights. A tribal woman tends to comply with the
cultural norms and, is given acceptance support
and recognition in the return. Furthermore it
describes the aspects of womens control over
her professional life and the barriers hindering
her progress.
METHODOLOGY
The research was exploratory in nature and
quantitative research approach was used for both
collection, and analysis of the data. Standardized
self constructed questionnaire was used as a

research tool to tap the perceptions about


Endorsement of Right to Career Development
among Tribal Masid Women. The calculated
reliability coefficient level of the tool was 0.7,
which indicated satisfactory level of reliability.
The data was collected from district Peshawar
and Dera Ismail Khan of Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa.
Sample consisted of women from Masid tribe
belonging to FATA. Convenient sampling
techniques were employed for data collection
and 50 women, with age range from 19 to 34
were being interviewed. The study doesnt
provide the overall perceptions of entire Masid
tribal women as only educated available women
were being interviewed. One of the reasons of
limitation is the ongoing war in the area and
spread of Masid families all over Pakistan as a
result of displacement which made it difficult to
access desired population.
Results and Discussion
Graph.1: Head of Family

Bar chart shows that in majority of the Masid


tribal families head of the household in mainly
male.
Chart. 1: Pie chart depicting level of education

The pie chart shows almost equal distribution of


different levels of education among Masid tribal
women

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Table. 1: Percentages of endorsement of right to


career development among Masid women

Rights
Access
Choices

Percentage
85%
51%
Compliance with
57%
culture
Role
of Acceptance of
87%
Culture
earning role
Support
87%
Recognition
55%
Financial
75%
Control
individualism
Further
68%
education
Access to
10%
opportunities
The above table shows perceptions about the
endorsement of right to career development
among women in percentages. Right to have
access to education is 85 %, whereas right to
make choices about employment is 51%. Culture
also plays significant role as shown 57% of the
respondents shows compliance to cultural norms
regarding career choices. 87% reported that their
family shows acceptance of their earning role,
and enjoy family support. In comparison to males
55% respondents believed that they enjoyed
equal recognition as a bread earner. While
comparing the right to have control over career
development 75% showed financial individualism,
68% enjoyed the opportunity of getting further
education and only 10% had access to career
development opportunities.
Table. 2: Barriers in the endorsement of right to
career development among Masid women

Barriers
Mobility
Stereotypes

Percentages
51%

Executive role
bias
Gender bias
Housewife is
unprofessional

66%
63%
80%

Discrimination
80%
The above table shows the barriers hindering the
endorsement of right to career development
among masid women. 51% respondents believed
that mobility is a barrier in grasping job related
opportunities in tribal community. Stereotypes
were also identified, which were generally
considered as barriers in the way of womens
right to career development. Among these 66%

refuted the stereotype that women cant perform


executive roles, 63% believed that their gender
was a barrier; whereas 80% refuted the belief
that housewife is unprofessional. Gender based
discrimination, which was 80%, was also
perceived as an impediment in womens
professional progress.
Table.3: Correlation between Role of culture and
choice of career

1
2
Role of culture
-0.24
Choice of career -.024
**P<0.01
Table shows an inter relationship b/w two
variables i.e. role of culture and choice of career.
The results indicate that variable role of culture is
negatively correlated with choice of career.
Table no 4: Correlation between Role of culture
and manual/domestic support
1
2
Acceptance of earning role
1
0.236
Manual/ domestic support
0.236
1
**P<0.01
Table shows an inter relationship b/w two
variables i.e. role of culture and manual/domestic
support. The results indicate that the variables
are moderately correlated.
DISCUSSION
The present study analyzed the perceptions of
women regarding endorsement of her right to
career development in Masid tribal culture. The
overall results shows a clear status of tribal
women access to career opportunities, career
choices she makes, role of culture in making
choices, her control over professional life and
finally the barriers she faces in availing these
rights
Graph no 1 depict the patriarchal nature of the
tribal community as majority of the respondents
reported that their head of the family is male.
Patriarchal nature of the tribal society is
considered to be the major impediment in the
womens professional progress by prevailing
literature. analysis showed that patriarchal nature
of the Pakhtoon-wali is depriving women of their
basic human rights (Khan 2008), But the results
show a different picture. The pie chart shows that
Masid women are availing opportunities of
education from primary to higher education level.
Equal distribution of Masid women across
different levels of education shows that women
folk is encouraged to get education and develop
career.

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Table no 1 show percentages of endorsement of


right to career development among Masid
women. It shows that 85% of the women can
avail the right to develop career and finds there
family supportive of their decision to opt for
career. Right to education and assess to career
opportunity brings in the cultural acceptance and
compliance among tribal women. The findings
further indicated the only 51% of the respondents
believe that they can independently choose their
career, probably because the women in Masid
tribal culture are more culture driven and cant
make career choices independently. To add
further they are passive and dependent in making
career choices thus reflecting external locus of
career contro (O'Neil and Bilimoria 2005).
The table also reflects the role of culture in the
endorsement of right to career development
among women. In the present study 57% woman
believed that they should opt for culturally
acceptable career which shows that cultural
context can limit women to opt for traditional
career choices (Stead 2001). Table 3 also
endorses the same fact that culture and choices
of career are inversely correlated i.e, culture
doesnt give room for independent career
choices.
Family support is crucial for career oriented
women (Al-Lamki 1999) and the result shows that
87% of the women enjoy family support in career
development,
in moral,
domestic
and
motivational domains. Family support is
presumably the reason why tribal women dont
object to the cultural restriction on career
choices. It further shows that 87% of the women
can independently contribute to house hold
indicating overall acceptance of womens earning
role in typical tribal family. Table no 4 indicate
positive
correlation
between
variables
acceptance of earning role and manual/ domestic
support indicating that a typical tribal family unit
of is receptive to the womens right to work.
Furthermore In comparison to males 55%
respondents believed that they enjoyed equal
recognition as a bread earner. This finding is also
enforced by the traditional career theories that
man is the bread earner whereas womens
primary function is to take care of house and
family members (Neal, et al. 2005; Mostafa
2005).
While assessing the extent of womens control
over career development it was deduced that
75% of the respondents enjoyed financial
individualism. As opposed to the other cultures

across the country a tribal women can


independently plan, spend and save here earning.
68% of the respondents endorsed that they can
independently polish there professional skills by
getting further education and training. Whereas
only 10% could avail the chances of progress
mainly because of strict adherence to tribal
culture which doesnt encourage the women to
prioritize her career over family (Helen and Lin
2004).
Attitudinal and cultural barriers are the basic
impediments in women career development
(Omair 2010). Table no 2 indicate the barriers in
the endorsement of right to career development
among Masid women. Mobility was considered to
be hurdle in the career advancement and at times
in availing career related opportunities. 51%
respondents affirmed that mobility was
restricting the opportunities of job for tribal
women.
Among other factors was the gender bias and
discrimination. 80% of women felt discriminated
against men and believed that their gender is
hindering their progress in general professional
setups. One such study conducted on Arab
women manager showed that men were
preferred in appointment and promotion process
as compared to females (Omair 2010).
Traditional theories holds the conviction that
Women face great deal of conflict while choosing
between career and family (Mavin 2001) whereas
our findings shows that tribal women can be a
good housewife as well as working women. Her
overall satisfaction with the family support and
cultural rootedness enables her to balance the
two. Which is aptly reflected in our findings as
80% of the respondents denied the notion that a
housewife could be unprofessional.
Patriarchal norms stops women from reaching to
the executive positions, the findings does not
correspond with the perceptions of tribal women.
As 66% of the responded believed that a women
has potential to become a very good executive
officer (Omair 2010).
CONCLUSION
It was assumed that tribal women have access to
career opportunities and culture paves way for
the endorsement of these rights. In return tribal
woman tends to comply with the cultural norms
and, is given acceptance support and recognition.
The overall analysis of the result confirms the
assumptions. Tribal women had access to career
development opportunities and the overall
culture supports the earning role of women. As a

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result the tribal women comply with cultural


norms and opt for traditional career choices.
Women enjoyed financial individualism but cant
independently progress in career. Mobility and
gender discrimination were considered to be the
barriers in the career development among
women.
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Publication Date: Feb-29 -2016
2016 The Explorer Islamabad Journal of Social Sciences-Pakistan

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